August 31, 2013 |
President Obama put on hold Saturday a plan to attack Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons, arguing that the United States had a moral responsibility to respond forcefully but would not do so until Congress has a chance to vote on the use of military force. The announcement puts off a cruise missile strike that had appeared imminent, a prospect that had the region on edge and stoked intense debate in the United States, where many dread getting dragged into a new war. Obama did...
February 1, 2013 |
Elizabeth F. Cohen, the author of "Semi-Citizenship in Democratic Politics," is an associate professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Who deserves to be a U.S. citizen? It's a question President Obama and Congress are trying to answer. But it's also one we've been grappling with since our country's earliest days. The founders had a clear answer: People who immigrated and spent years building lives in this country...
May 23, 2013 |
Robert G. Kaiser is an associate editor of The Washington Post and the author of "Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't," published this month. Why is Congress so helpless and so hopeless? We've heard all the fashionable explanations: partisan gridlock; special interests and the impact of their campaign contributions; gerrymandered House districts; an excessively partisan president; a benighted Republican Party dominated by tea party radicals.
May 31, 2011 |
In August 1964, President Johnson went to Congress to ask for far-reaching authority to conduct military action in Vietnam. The "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution," as this authority was called, would give the president broad power to engage in a war of any size, for any length of time, without the need for a formal declaration of war from Congress. It was popular within Congress and throughout the country, and Johnson rightly expected it to pass without much opposition. Out of that uncritical unity, Sen. Wayne Morse (D-Ore.)
September 28, 2013 |
This past week, the Department of Veterans Affairs bought $562,000 worth of artwork. In a single day, the Agriculture Department spent $144,000 on toner cartridges . And, in a single purchase , the Coast Guard spent $178,000 on "Cubicle Furniture Rehab. " This string of big-ticket purchases was an unmistakable sign: It was "use it or lose it" season again in Washington. All week, while Congress fought over next year's budget,...
November 18, 2011 |
Shortly before the Supreme Court agreed to rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare's individual mandate, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed its constitutionality. Writing for the majority, Judge Laurence H. Silberman, a Reagan appointee, brusquely acknowledged that upholding the mandate means there is no limit to Congress's powers under the Commerce Clause. Fortunately, Silberman's stark assertion may strengthen the counterargument.