“Does Congress Still Control the Power of the Purse?”
American Enterprise Institute, March 25, 2021
Zachary Courser, Co-Director, Claremont McKenna College Policy Lab
Kevin R. Kosar, Resident Scholar, AEI
Philip Wallach, Resident Scholar, AEI
John C. Fortier, Resident Scholar, AEI
The American Enterprise Institute and the CMC Salvatori Center hosted a panel of experts to assess whether Congress can regain control over the nation’s finances and thus fortify representative government. Policy Lab Director Zachary Courser, co-author of the AEI report “Restoring the power of the purse: Earmarks and re-empowering legislators to deliver local benefits,” discussed how the 2011 abolition of earmarking did little to control spending and effectively transferred to the executive branch the power to direct funds. The imminent return of earmarks could increase bipartisanship while tangibly benefitting legislators’ districts.