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  • Natalie Parker
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    I do not think that Congress has too much power. We go through a rigorous process of electing individuals who directly represent our citizenry. If anything, in recent years I believe that there are almost too many checks on the power of Congress. With divided chambers and the power of the President鈥檚 veto and Executive Orders, I believe that Congress right now has less power than it has in the past.

    Despite the fact that Congressional representatives are directly elected by citizens, as compared to the President who is elected by the Electoral College, or the Judicial Branch鈥檚 supreme court justices, which are appointed by the President and approved by Congress, I don鈥檛 think that Congress has been able to have as much power in recent years.

    I鈥檓 interested in delving more into the difference between local, state and federal powers too! This link might be helpful for some folks: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-us-government-and-politics/foundations-of-american-democracy/relationship-between-states-and-the-federal-government/a/relationship-between-the-states-and-the-federal-government-article

    Here鈥檚 a helpful CliffsNotes that I found (thanks for the recommendation at Symposium, Sonji!):
    https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/american-government/congress/the-powers-of-congress

    in reply to: Module 2.3 Branches of Government, Executive (March 29) #46083

    Natalie Parker
    Participant

    In recent years, the power of the President has strengthened, with responsibilities that were formerly held with local and state governments and the Legislative Branch being subsumed by the Executive Branch.

    One example of such is President Trump鈥檚 recent use of the Executive Order to appropriate federal funds to build a border barrier along the Southern border of the U.S.

    To examine whether the Executive Branch overall is too large, I think we should look to see whether it鈥檚 size has grown relative to the other branches of government and then whether state and local governments have also grown relative to the populations that they govern. Ken is correct that the population of the U.S. has grown significantly since the founding of our nation, and so obviously have the number of government administrators. The excerpt below is from the 2012 Census of Governments released by the US Census Bureau. As a note, the next survey will be released later in 2019, according to the Census Bureau.

    鈥淚n March 2012, federal, state, and local governments employed 22.0 million people. This is a decrease of 75,913 employees from the last Census of Governments conducted in 2007. The number of state government employees increased by 85,755, or 1.6 percent. Local governments employed 224,354 fewer people, or 1.6 percent, while federal employment increased by 62,686 employees, or 2.3 percent.鈥

    The federal government has indeed expanded the services it offers, but arguments continue about privatization and what government services could possibly be delivered more efficiently via the private sector. Ultimately, I believe many powers of the Executive Branch should be shifted back to state and local governments with the Legislative Branch taking a stronger role in execution.


    Natalie Parker
    Participant

    I don鈥檛 think I鈥檓 well-informed yet about the Supreme Court to know whether its powers have grown since its inception. Hamilton鈥檚 prediction is certainly true in that the Court does not ensure that the outcomes of the court are carried out, however, it is other courts that it truly depends on. It receives cases and sends cases back to lower courts, which ultimately oversee the end result.

    in reply to: Module 2.1: Branches of Government, Intro (Due March 15) #45901

    Natalie Parker
    Participant

    Referring to the judicial branch as the “last line of defense” is such a cool way to put it. I think of the legislative branch as the first line of defense (or offense ha!) so I think that’s why it’s so interesting to me. Elected officials get to be innovators, in a sense.

    in reply to: Module 2.1: Branches of Government, Intro (Due March 15) #45900

    Natalie Parker
    Participant

    Because I am most interested in direct advocacy & 鈥渨onky鈥 policy conversations, the legislative branch is the most compelling to me. Congresspeople are tasked with directly representing their constituents and balancing the needs and values of their districts with how they view certain policies and laws. Though we can sometimes think of our legislators with a binary lens – blue and red, democrat and republican, good or bad – good legislation is more nuanced than that. For those reasons, I believe that I would find the most value in working for the legislative branch.

    in reply to: Module 1: Foundations of Government (Due March 8) #45898

    Natalie Parker
    Participant

    Jen, I think you have a good point. I think it’s also important to remember the power of the interest group (essentially what we’re apart of). We’re all stronger together, in the sense that elected officials can better gauge how we feel when we represent our asks in a united way.

    in reply to: Module 1: Foundations of Government (Due March 8) #45897

    Natalie Parker
    Participant

    The intention of popular sovereignty is to limit the power of the government, so that it cannot violate the rights of people. For example, the government cannot interfere with rights such as freedom of religion or petition as long as the expression of those rights doesn鈥檛 interfere with others. The latter part of this – the stipulation that it cannot restrict the rights of others – is often where controversy resides.

Viewing 7 posts - 16 through 22 (of 22 total)

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