A win for federalism?
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:05 PM
Gary Andres notes in a new Weekly Standard article that newly empowered congressional Republicans are looking to back away from a top-down, Washington-centered approach toward state governments:
With Republicans capturing the majority in the
House, growing their numbers in the Senate, and expanding control to 29
state houses, the time is right to reprise experiments in federalism.
“For the last four years the attitude in Congress
was, ‘we’re going to tell you what to do,’” a senior GOP leadership aide
told me. “Boehner’s view is just the opposite. He’s asking the
governors, ‘what kind of flexibility do you need to succeed?’”
This also means the era of big mandates is
over. “We understand you can’t ask the states to do more with less and
then tie their hands,” he explained.
But there’s another reason why the time is ripe for
new approaches to federalism – Washington needs a budgetary diet. But
fiscal restraint produces its own set of political challenges.
As a result, Republicans in Washington need allies
to navigate these shoals. Governors can help by validating the wisdom of
breathing new life into creative federalism.
Revisit the debate about federalism in previous Locker Room posts here, here, and here.
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