We have a pretty good idea of what President-elect Trump’s priorities are:
- Faster Economic Growth, accomplished with tax and regulatory reform, to create more jobs and higher paying jobs for the blue-collar middle class.
- Rethinking NAFTA and TPP to make sure that American companies and workers are not being penalized by unfair trade agreements.
- Immigration Reform to make sure that law-breaking illegal immigrants are deported and then figuring out some sort of legal (guest worker?) status for the remainder.
What remains to be determined is the role of Congress under the new administration. Utah’s Senator Mike Lee makes a very strong argument that one of the biggest problems with American government is the weak authority of Congress in recent years and the need for Congress to reassert itself.
With a new president who is more populist than partisan, now is an excellent opportunity for Congress to do exactly this. Here is what Congress should do:
- Reinstitute annual budgeting and appropriations for executive branch agencies. This is essential for controlling how the funds are spent.
- Pass new legislation for healthcare, tax reform, immigration policy and financial regulation, giving up lazy policy delegation to the executive branch and relearning the art of legislating and collective choice.
- Cry foul if President Trump tries to settle these and other momentous matters through Obama-style executive decrees without legislative input.
Conclusion. Our system needs the disruption which Donald Trump will provide and that is why he got elected. But at the same time Congress has a golden opportunity to restore its prerogatives which have withered away in recent years. It would be a shame if Congress doesn’t take this golden opportunity to get this done.