Washington, D.C. — Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) and Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK) today announced that the Rules Committee will hold a hearing to understand how the constitutional role of Congress has been diminished and identify opportunities to reassert congressional authority on Tuesday, March 3rd at 10:00 am ET. The hearing, Article I: Constitutional Perspectives on the Responsibility and Authority of the Legislative Branch, follows decades of Congress’ constitutional role on matters like national emergencies, foreign policy, rulemaking, government funding and our military’s role abroad being encroached upon by the Executive Branch.
The committee will examine how this altered balance of power compares to what the Founders intended, how the role of the branches of government has changed over time, and how the authority of the legislative branch has diminished as a result – all with the goal of identifying opportunities to reassert congressional authority.
“For decades, one Congress after the next has abdicated its authority over fundamental matters like declaring war, rulemaking, and utilizing its power under the National Emergencies Act. It has happened regardless of which party controlled Congress or sat in the Oval Office. We cannot allow decisions that should have been made either solely by Congress or collaboratively between the legislative and executive branches to be made exclusively out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I’m proud to be joining with my friend Ranking Member Cole to hold this hearing examining how we can reassert Congress’ constitutional authority; something we both care deeply about. This issue transcends party, and I hope we can find bipartisan solutions so Congress can finally exercise its full authority again,” said Chairman McGovern.
“When our Founders envisioned the distribution and separation of government powers in the U.S. Constitution, I believe it was no accident that they first described the powers entrusted to Congress on behalf of the American people. Indeed, the legislative branch established in Article I remains the most closely connected to the views of our nation’s citizens to this day. The importance of that role and responsibility cannot be overstated. Though the shift has been gradual, I have long been concerned by Congress ceding some of its authority as well as presidents of both parties claiming power that belongs to the legislative branch. Along with my good friend and colleague Chairman McGovern, I look forward to discussing how we reached this point and what can be done to help Congress reclaim and reassert its constitutional authority,” said Ranking Member Cole.
What: Rules Committee Hearing, Article I: Constitutional Perspectives on the Responsibility and Authority of the Legislative Branch
When: Tuesday, March 3rd at 10:00 am ET
Where: H-313, The Capitol
*Note that seating in the hearing room will be available as normal on a first come, first serve basis with preference given to members of Congress and members of the media. The hearing will also be streamed online at Rules.House.gov.
Laura Belmonte, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Professor of History at Virginia Tech
Deborah Pearlstein, Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School in New York City
Saikrishna Prakash, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia
Matthew Spalding, Vice President of Washington Operations and Dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government at Hillsdale College’s Washington, D.C. campus