Politico reports that after executive power steadily increased over the last two presidential administrations, Republicans Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina are making a public push for Congress taking back more control once Donald Trump takes the White House:
Gowdy and Cotton on Friday framed the Trump presidency as once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when Republicans could restore constitutional balance without rousing suspicions that their desire to clip the wings of the presidency is politically motivated.
Gowdy said Republican-led efforts to reassert congressional authority in the Obama era were unsuccessful in part because of those suspicions. “If you check presidential power with respect to your own team, maybe the analysis changes from political analysis to constitutional analysis,” he said. “Will we take this opportunity to call back any of the power we have ceded over the last decade with respect to regulatory control, with respect to appropriations?”
He also said that the executive branch is better suited to conducting thorough investigations than Congress, which can do nothing if a White House aide takes a subpoena issued by Congress and “folds it up into a paper airplane.”
“I think this is a moment where we could claw back some of that constitutional authority for our legislature,” Cotton said.
In practice, if you will recall the George W. Bush administration, Republicans like executive power when a Republican is in the White House. Maybe now, despite Trump’s ascension, Cotton will take a principled stand for legislative oversight. If I had to guess, Trump will do everything he can to consolidate his own power. We’ll find out soon enough!