Congressional Abdication on War and Spending

The balance of powers among the branches of government is the defining structure of American democracy. The Founders assumed each branch would jealously guard its own prerogatives to prevent tyrannical power. Were they wrong? In recent years Congress has progressively abdicated its role in two crucial areas: war powers and the budget process. The result is a chief executive with too few constraints and too little restraint, to the detriment of national policy and democratic processes. How has this come about, and what are the implications of this changing balance of powers? Louis Fisher addresses these pressing questions in a carefully argued study of congressional power. He examines how attempts by Congress to reassert its will in the wake of Watergate ultimately resulted in further surrender of legislative power to the presidency. This book will engage students of the governmental process and help them to understand not only the issues at stake in balanceofpower questions, but also how to conduct civic discussion and reasoned argument. In the end, Fisher advocates a return to constitutional principle on the part of lawmakers and the education of citizens who will insist that Congress protect those principles.