♪ ♪>>Tucker: HERE’S A STORY THAT’S RECEIVED ALMOST NO MEDIA ATTENTION. IT’S BEEN LESS THAN A YEAR AND A HALF SINCE DONALD TRUMP GOT ELECTED COME UP THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS CHANGED PRETTY DRAMATICALLY. SIX YEARS AGO FOR EXAMPLE SINCE THE 2012 STATE OF THE UNION, PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID THIS ABOUT IMMIGRATION. WATCH.>>I BELIEVE AS STRONGLY AS EVER THAT WE SHOULD TAKE ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. THAT’S WHY MY ADMINISTER AGENT HAS PUT MORE BOOTS ON THE BORDER THAN EVER BEFORE. THAT’S WHY IF THERE ARE FEWER ILLEGAL CROSSINGS TO WHEN I TOOK OFFICE.>>Tucker: THAT’S UNIMAGINABLE TODAY, OBAMA COULD NOT AND WOULD NOT SAY THAT. INSTEAD, DEMOCRATS ARE CALLING FOR THE ABOLITION OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT. ISIS WAS DESCRIBED AS A STRIKE FORCE — THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA IS THREATENING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WITH ARRESTS IF THEY COOPERATE WITH I.C.E. IMPOVERISHED DEMOCRATIC CITIES LIKE BALTIMORE SET ASIDE TAX DOLLARS TO HELP ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FIGHT DEPORTATION. HOW LONG BEFORE THE NATIONAL PARTY CALLS FOR GIVING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS THE RIGHT TO VOTE. YESTERDAY ON THIS SHOW, WE INTERVIEWED AN IMMIGRATION ACTIVIST WHO SAID FOREIGN NATIONALS OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO VOTE ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. IT USED TO BE A FRENCH POSITION. IT’S NOT ANYMORE. THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS MODE FOR ADVOCATING GUN-CONTROL AND PUSH FOR GUN CONFISCATION. HERE WAS HILLARY CLINTON’S POSITION ON FIREARMS TWO YEARS AGO.>>I’M NOT LOOKING TO REPEAL THE SECOND AMENDMENT, I’M NOT LOOKING TO TAKE PEOPLE’S GUNS AWAY, BUT I AM LOOKING FOR MORE SUPPORT FOR THE REASONABLE EFFORTS THAT NEED TO BE UNDERTAKEN TO KEEP GUNS OUT OF THE WRONG HANDS.>>Tucker: THOSE WORDS COULD HAVE BEEN UTTERED ANY TIME IN THE LAST 30 YEARS, BUT THAT WAS THEN. DEMOCRATS HAVE JUST SPENT THE LAST MONTH OPENLY CALLING FOR GUN CONFISCATION. YESTERDAY, FORMER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE JOHN PAUL STEVENS DEVOTED THE REPEAL OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT, OTHERS HAVE FOLLOWED. THAT WOULD BE UNTHINKABLE A FEW YEARS AGO. IN THE 1990s, YOU OFTEN HEARD BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON SAY ABORTION OUGHT TO BE SAFE, LEGAL, AND REAR. AS RECENTLY AS 2009, BARACK OBAMA AGREED. WATCH.>>LETS US WORK TOGETHER TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF WOMEN SEEKING ABORTIONS. LET’S REDUCE UNINTENDED PREGNANCIES. LET’S MAKE ADOPTIONS MORE AVAILABLE. LET’S PROVIDE CARE AND SUPPORT FOR WOMEN WHO DO CARRY THEIR CHILDREN TO TERM.>>Tucker: THAT WAS THE POSITION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FROM ROE V. WADE UNTIL ABOUT YESTERDAY. EVEN THOUGH ABORTION SHOULD REMAIN LEGAL, IT WAS UNDESIRABLE, IT WAS SOMETHING TO BE AVOIDED IF POSSIBLE. THAT’S ALL MOST VOTERS FEEL. DEMOCRATS NO LONGER SAY THAT. THE PARTY’S BASE IS FOR ABORTION. THEY WANT WOMEN TO — PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN COLORADO DEMANDED A NEW DISNEY PRINCESS WHO HAS HAD AN ABORTION TO BE A ROLE MODEL FOR GIRLS. THIS IS OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM. ARE THEY THE TOPICS, ARE THEY THE ISSUES THAT DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO RUN ON DURING THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS QUESTION ARE JOINING US TONIGHT IS SOMEONE WHO HAS SPENT A LONG TIME IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, JENNIFER PULMONARY. SHE SPENT YEARS OF THE HEART OF IT. SHE’S GOT A BRAND-NEW BOOK OUT AND SHE’S DOING VERY WELL ON AMAZON, IT’S CALLED DEAR MADAM PRESIDENT. THANKS FOR COMING ON.>>I’M HAPPY TO BE HERE. A LOT HAS BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT THE CHANGES IN THEIR PARTY. THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS CHANGED AS MUCH IF NOT MORE AND IT’S GOTTEN VERY LITTLE ATTENTION. DO YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA GOING OUT AND SAYING I’M GOING TO CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, COULDN’T SAY THAT TODAY?>>NO BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENED IS THE PROBLEM GOT A LOT WORSE IN CONGRESS DIDN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. PRESIDENT OBAMA GAVE THAT SPEECH MANY YEARS AGO, THAT WAS WHEN WE WERE TRYING TO PASS COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
American politics feels more chaotic and unstable than ever our political parties have sorted into ideological opposites but there's a reason for all this turmoil America's political instability is occurring because of deep ongoing economic and demographic structural changes that are causing existing voting blocs to regroup and reconsider which issues motivate them and which party they support as a result control of the legislative and executive branches keeps shifting back and forth and notably these structural changes are affecting countries all over the world what is stable today isn't stable tomorrow and political parties have to adjust in order to find positions that win them a majority of voters luckily there's a reason to be hopeful this has happened before in our history for example in response to the Great Depression Democrats found a winning combination of issues with the New Deal they promised voters security from financial ruin made welfare a popular voting platform and as a result went on to control Congress for 60 years today political parties are struggling to find a winning combination of positions on the challenges that are causing people to change political allegiances including global trade immigration automation access to health care and inequality once one political party figures out a winning combination of policies that can consistently win them elections political stability will return you
President Obama recently used executive orders to make major changes to the United States immigration policy, an act that did not sit well with the right. Some Republicans are proposing to fight back against the President’s immigration overhaul with threats of another government shutdown. But, what exactly does it mean to shutdown the government and is it an effective political tool? Well, a government shutdown happens when Congress does not pass funding legislation put forth by the Executive Branch. Basically, if Congress doesn’t pass an agreed upon annual budget, federal programs begin to shut down. This usually happens because the two sides cannot agree on a major issue. In 2013 the Republicans in the House passed budgetary amendments that would harm Obamacare and the Democratic controlled Senate rejected the budget. There was more back and forth between the two sides, but this difference ultimately resulted in a government shutdown. However, even if the Obamacare changes passed through the Senate, the President would have used his veto power, which would have also resulted in a government shutdown. Every year in order to avoid a shutdown, the House, the Senate and the President all need to come to an agreement on the budget. So what happens when the government shuts down? Welp, the President and Congress still get paid, but many other people do not. Federal employees are split into two categories, essential and non-essential personnel, with the latter being forced to go home unpaid. Anyone that works in national security, including embassies abroad, federal prisons, border patrols, emergency and disaster workers and those who operate the power grid are considered essential personnel. Almost everyone else is considered non- essential. This used to include Military personnel, but in 2013 Congress passed a bill ensuring them a paycheck. In 2013 federal programs like the National Institute of Health, Department of Housing and the Department of Homeland Security all took major blows. Over 400 National Parks and Monuments closed down, as did the Environmental Protection Agency and parts of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The government estimates that about 800,000 government workers went unpaid during the shutdown. So, is shutting down the government an effective political tool? The answer is. Sometimes. During a shutdown, the public starts to turn on political parties and both sides feel pressure to get things done. In 1978 there was a shutdown that lasted 18 days, mostly over President Carter vetoing money for an aircraft carrier he thought was wasteful spending. In the end, congress relented and the budget went through without that line item. A similar outcome occurred in a 1982 shutdown which defunded a missile program that President Reagan wanted. But usually shutdowns are resolved by passing temporary budgets that give the disagreeing sides more time to compromise. There have been 18 shutdowns since 1976 and they each happen for their own reasons. One time the government shut down for an entire day, because Congress just didn't get around to voting on a budget in time. Our elected officials aren't the only ones who have to make big decisions… Ever wonder if college is actually worth the investment? Our friends over at Life Noggin just made a fantastic video about it. Check it out here, and don’t forget to subscribe to TestTube!
This episode of Crash Course is brought to you by Squarespace. Hi I'm Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics and today we're going to cross the streams of the legislative and executive branches and talk about delegation. I thought we weren't supposed to cross the streams Stan?! Ooh, that's Ghostbusting. Sorry about that. We're far away from the text of the Constitution here, deep in the realm of informal powers. But basically, delegation explains why the President is so powerful, even though the Consitution and its framers were terrified of creating a Presidentzilla. (Squeaky dinosaur noise) [Theme Music] So, what exactly is delegation? First of all, to clear up some confusion, it's not the same as being a delegate, which in Political Science has two meanings. That sounds like we're making it more confusing Stan. First off, a delegate is a representative at something like a caucus, or in Congress. Usually, in the US, when we talk about delegates it's in the context of political conventions and choosing Presidential candidates. Political scientists also talk about the delegate role that a representative can have. If a representative is acting like a delegate she does what her constituents want, acting in their interests as much as she can. The other role that a representative can have is that of a trustee. When a representative behaves like a trustee, he acts in what he believes are the best interests of the community as a whole. In general, the Senate was designed to act more like trustees and the House to be more like delegates. But neither of those is the delegation we're talking about. Congressional delegation happens when Congress gives, or delegates, a power to the Executive branch through legislation. Whenever Congress sets up an agency or program, it decides how much discretion to give the agency's personnel in doing whatever job Congress created the agency to do. The greater the discretion, the more power Congress delegates. This is how delegation works in general. The amount of discretion that Congress can give an agency varies a lot. Sometimes the laws that Congress writes have very specific instructions on what the agency can do and how it can do it, severely limiting the agency's discretion. A good example of Congress limiting an agency's discretion is the Tax Code, which is about 26 hundred pages long, without even including all the very detailed rules and regulations that the IRS has to follow. Even with thousands of pages of rules, sometimes the IRS acts beyond its discretion, as it did when it investigated the tax exempt status of 501C4 groups linked to the Tea Party. Remember that scandal? Other times, Congress grants broad discretion to agencies. We'll learn more about this when we talk about bureauracracies in future episodes. But as you might imagine, agencies will try to take all the power they can get. OSHA Regulations are a good example of an agency having broad discretion over its rules. One thing to remember is that even when Congress does delegate powers to the Executive branch, which can look like trouble for the whole separation of powers thing, these delegated powers can still be check by the Courts, which can review laws and bureaucratic rules and regulations. The most memorable time that this happened was when the Court overturned the legislative veto in the famous INS versus CHADHA case. What?! You've never heard of INS versus CHADHA? Well, look it up! So that's what delegation is. Fair enough. But it doesn't explain why Congress delegates powers to the Executive branch. For this, I think we need a little help from the Thought Bubble. There are three reasons that Congress delegates power to the Executive branch. Practical reasons, historical reasons and political reasons. To start with the practical reasons, Congress delegates power because it has to. Today's government, whether you like it or not, does a lot of things, and it would be pretty much impossible for Congress to administer all the programs that it creates. Imagine your local Congressman taking the time to inspect meat like the USDA does. You could also make a constitutional argument that Congress should delegate power since execution of laws is the job of the Executive branch. There's another practical reason for delegating. Writing detailed legislation is really hard, and since Congressmen are not usually experts in the policies they create, it's often better to let the people who will be implementing the rules have more say in what the rules will be. Congress also delegates for historical reasons. In fact, until the 20th Century, any governing that the National Government did do was done by Congress, and you'll remember that was the age of dual federalism, so most of the governing was done by the states. When Congress did delegate power, it sought to keep it away from the President. For example, the Interstate Commerce Commission, which was established to regulate railroads, was set up as an independent regulatory commission. Things started to change in the progressive era when the national government began to actually regulate things, like the aforementioned meat. Thanks Upton Sinclair! But the size and reach of the federal government really exploded with the New Deal. Now, one story of the New Deal is that FDR took the initiative and expanded executive power by creating all sorts of new agencies. Sending us down the path to the large scale government we know and love, or hate. But that's not the whole story. The problems facing the US overwhelmed Congress, so they delegated power to the Executive branch and the federal government grew into something approaching what we know it as today. The key thing to remember is that the New Deal was primarily a legislative program of laws that created new agencies and programs, not just a series of executive orders. Thanks Thought Bubble. The political reasons for delegation may sound cynical, and I guess they are, but they reflect the political reality that getting blamed for a bad outcome can cost you an election. Often Congress grants broad discretion in a law so that they can avoid responsibility and/or blame the Executive branch if it goes sour. You saw this in the debate over Obamacare, if you're being generous you'd call it a debate, you could call it a playground slap fight. So this is a good place to stop because it leads us into the next topic, bureauracracy, that we're going to take up in the next few episodes. But before we end, let me point out two important things. The first is that Congressionally delegated power is always contingent on time, place and national mood. Congress has the power to rescind, amend or claim oversight over the powers it delegates. Although, as we'll see, it's hard to control bureauracracies. Congress can do it if they want to and they can also draft laws more carefully to set strong limits. Who is in office at the time the law is written often can have a big effect on the degree of power Congress delegates. As a general rule, when there's unified government with one party controlling both Congress and the White House, Congress will delegate more power to the Executive. Because he's their bro, or she's their bro. Historical context can matter too. After September 11th Congress delegated a lot of authority to the Executive branch to protect Americans from terrorism. And when the country is at war Congress tends to delegate to the Executive branch too. The second important thing to remember about delegation is that overall it represents a shift of power from the Legislative to the Executive branch. Why this has happened is complicated, and whether it's a good thing or a bad thing is an important and interesting discussion that you should have in your classes and with your friends. And with your grandma, and with your grandma's friends. But that it has happened is a fact that you, and your grandma, and your grandma's friend need to recognise. Thanks for watching, I'll see you next week. Crash Course Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS digital studios. Support for Crash Course US Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports non profits that use technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at voqal.org. Crash Course was made with the help of these nice delegates. Thanks for watching.