Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Six Ways Congress Can Curb a Runaway President

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

No bones about it, Donald Trump is a steamroller. He defeated 16 Republican candidates, despite being a political novice. Jeb Bush’s $150 million war chest couldn’t insulate him from Trump’s insults; nor could Hillary’s much vaunted ground game and experience.

Now Trump is in the Oval Office, and has shown no sign of taking his foot off the pedal. Since his stunning November 16 victory, he has browbeat Fortune 500 companies by name, threatened China, and ignored calls from government ethicists to let go of his business empire. His operating style has created newfound worries in Washington that as the steamroller keeps going, the new president will make huge and possibly harmful changes on a wide range of issues, from international diplomacy to immigration to health care, without any public check on his actions.

There’s plenty of reason for concern. In our system, the executive acts and Congress reacts. Presidents far more respectful of the Constitution than Trump have used this first-mover advantage to make new policy through executive orders and regulations, and to inject America into international conflicts. Harry Truman seized steel mills in the name of national security and Richard Nixon put troops in Laos secretly. When Republicans frustrated Barack Obama, the President announced, “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.” All too often, Congress is left spluttering in protest, and any pushback comes from the Supreme Court. (Both Truman’s steel seizure and Obama’s immigration action were halted by the judiciary.)….(Read more at Politico)

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