Given President Obama’s abdication in presenting select priorities to the Congress, Selfish Citizenship took the initiative to spell out the top seven legislative priorities for 2013 at the beginning of the year.
The Congress has infringed upon the states’ police powers by giving the states federal money with strings attached. This is the method by which Congress has exceeded the limits of its constitutional authority. To restore the federalist principle, the Congress should change all funding of state and local programs into block grants to the states without any strings attached.
As an example of the arbitrary power the executive wields as a result of the current process, see the efforts of states to get waivers from the Obama Administration related to the failed No Child Left Behind law.
This change will reduce federal spending by eliminating oversight and compliance expenses; however, federal civil rights enforcement should continue. Over time, five to ten years, the value of block grants to states should be regularly diminished to zero as the states transition from these federal mandated programs. These programs include Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and education funding.
Following the initial posting of these top legislative priorities, the budget developed under the leadership of Rep. Paul Ryan and passed by the House included aspects of this block grant recommendation. Before we drop context, it should be remember that this was an initiative during the Gingrich Revolution of 1994, yet we still have the same problems on only a larger scale. Current House Republicans lack the integrity to fully complete this task.
In summary of the seven legislative priorities, Congress needs to take the lead in fixing the problems created by prior Congresses. All of these man-made problems were the predictable consequence of choices made in the Congress. Now is the time for Congress to choose differently and these seven New Year’s Resolutions for Congress are a solid start.
Links to all the priorities that Congress should set: