President should not act without Congressional checks and balance

By Jacob S. Hacker and Oona A. Hathaway

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

Second, fix the broken budget process. The federal government should run on last year’s budget if Congress can’t agree on a new one. That would end the opportunities for endless hostage-taking and prevent costly shutdowns. (And while we’re at it, it is well past time to eliminate the redundant debt-ceiling vote, which has caused so much havoc.)

Third, bring transparency to lobbying and campaign donations, and pursue efforts to reduce candidates’ reliance on big donors and powerful lobbyists. Congress won’t be truly accountable to the people until the pull of narrow, wealthy interest groups and intense party activists is weakened.

The hard part, of course, isn’t coming up with sensible reforms in these areas (and we’ve merely hinted at an agenda). It’s getting Congress to put them in place. No one should expect a short or easy struggle. But maybe the only thing the parties can agree on is that the president should not be governing the country alone. If so, there’s a chance filibuster reform could be just the start.

Jacob S. Hacker is a professor of political science and director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale. Oona A. Hathaway is a professor of law and director of the Center for Global Legal Challenges at Yale Law School. They wrote th

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