The Corner

Politics & Policy

More on Downsizing Presidential Power

My Bloomberg Opinion column yesterday concerned legislation to take back some of the powers Congress has imprudently granted to the president. Amanda Carpenter writes on the same theme today, highlighting legislation that at least some Republicans and Democrats ought to be able to agree on:

Leahy proposed the Congressional Power of the Purse legislation, in companion with House Budget chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) and Appropriations chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), all notable figures when it comes to congressional spending policy. This bill would prevent a president from rescinding or deferring funds without congressional approval. Interestingly, it also contains national emergency reform language remarkably similar to Lee’s ARTICLE ONE legislation, showing how neatly the two ideas complement each other.

In a Washington removed from the partisan divisions over Trump’s impeachment for his handling of Ukraine, one could see how a meeting of Republican and Democratic minds could come together here. All it might take is a suggestion from Biden’s next Environmental Protection Agency administrator that federal money should be withheld from non-carbon-neutral cities to get Republicans fully on board.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.