Federalism Changes from 1980

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  • Federalism Changes
    • Reagan
      • Sought to put an end to the increased central control of states
        • called New Federalism
        • 'It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment'
      • Actions
        • Decreased federal outlays (money for fed obliga
        • Untitled
    • G.W.Bush
      • Conlan and Dinlan said that the Bush admin had been 'routinely dismissive of federalism concerns' (2007)
      • Some changes in Medicaid which gave more power to states
      • In first term, approved 64 measures removing regulatory powers from the states
        • Though not all changed federal-state relations
        • Security
          • In wake of 9/11
          • Created the dept of Homeland Security
            • Centralised existing fed govt agencies and added powers
          • States had to meet federal standards for driving licenses
          • The USA Patriot Act
            • Expansion of federal authority in the surveillance of suspected terrorists
        • Education
          • Promoted the No Child Left Behind Act (2001)
            • Required annual testing of students
            • Corrective measures imposed by fg if a school was failing
            • Very few waivers (states excepted) granted in first few years
        • The Help America Vote Act (2002)
          • Due to voting issue in Florida during the general election 2 yrs earlier
          • States and countries had to adopt specific systems and procedures to meet a minimum standard
        • The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (2003)
          • Outlawed a particular method of abortion nationwide
        • The Defense Reorganization Act (2007)
          • After Hurricane Katrina
          • The president can take command of the National Guard in any state in an emergency
      • Federal grants-in-aid to state and local govts increased significantly
        • In fiscal year of 2005 they reached a record high of $375bn
          • Around $90bn higher than 2000
        • Federal spending grew 18% during Bush's Presidency
      • Economy
        • Federal grants-in-aid to state and local govts increased significantly
          • In fiscal year of 2005 they reached a record high of $375bn
            • Around $90bn higher than 2000
          • Federal spending grew 18% during Bush's Presidency
        • The Treasury Dept took a 79.9% controlling share of  two mortgage companies known as 'Fannie Mae' and 'Freddie Mac'
        • The Federal Housing Finance Agency created to regulate mortgage provision
    • Federalism in general
      • elastic clauses
        • The Commerce Clause
          • fed govt is now the 'manager of the economy' as now taxes and spends
            • Also provide financial aid so the states are dependent on Washington
              • eg Obama's financial stimulus plan
      • fed govt is now the 'manager of the economy' as now taxes and spends
        • Also provide financial aid so the states are dependent on Washington
          • eg Obama's financial stimulus plan
      • Basic rights extended to all citizens
        • Therefore constrains states' ability
    • Historically
      • under the provisions of the Articles of Confederation, powers of central govt were heavily decentralised
        • no president and limited congressional prerogatives
      • Constitution
        • The Federalist Papers asserted that this level of decentralisation was weak and ineffective
        • created an executive but there were still checks on central govt
        • 10th Amendment declared States could decide on matters not prohibited in the Constit
        • elastic clauses
          • means that centralisation is expanding
      • Massive increase in fg powers in early 30s due to depression
      • Typically Republicans and Conservatives in favour of decentralisation
    • Definition: Federalism is a system based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between national and provincial/state governments, creating what is often called a federation:
    • Variation
      • laws varies b/w states
        • eg differing policies on capital punishment, abortion and drugs
          • shows degree of federalism
          • generally over civil law issues, not criminal
          • fed govt allows choice over civil laws
    • Clinton
      • Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
        • Before states had to meet certain requirements without any funding
          • The act attempted to curb this
            • The Congressional Budget Office had to estimate the costs of these mandates
        • fg agencies also had to access the effects of proposed measures on the state, local govt and private sector
        • Meant that unfunded mandates were publicly visible
          • A check on the fed govt
      • signed the Defense of Marriage Act (1996)
        • Declared marriage was only b/w a man and a women, therefore outlawing same sex marriage
          • But allowed states to make own laws on civil partnerships
          • Now around 35 states have gay marriage - shows that they still have control
    • The Supreme Court
      • Basic rights extended to all citizens
        • Therefore constrains states' ability
      • From mid 90s the Supreme Court was more limited in the way it interpreted the commerce clause
        • examples
          • United States vs Lopez
            • Didn't allow the Gun-Free Schools Act - meant to restrict people carrying guns near schools
        • Also struck down part of the Violence Against Women Act (1994)
          • part allowed women to sue in federal court but not allowed as argued to only have an indirect effect on the economy
          • United States vs Morrison (2000)
      • From 2003 there was an increase in agreement with the fg
        • e.g. Gonzales vs Raich
          • fg preempted California's Compassionate Use Act by prohibiting the use of marijuana medical purposes
            • based on Commerce Clause
    • Conclusions
      • The US is much more centralised
        • Some argue that it isn't much different to unitary states like the UK
        • Especially since Bush
        • Supreme Court more considerate towards govt claims since 2003
      • depends on individual president
    • Exclusive Powers of the States
      • establishing local govts
      • Issuing licenses
      • regulating intrastate commerce
      • conducting elections
      • ratifying amendments
      • providing for public health and safety
    • Exclusive powers if the national govt
      • printing money
      • declaring war
      • establishing an armed forces
      • entering into treaties with foreign govts
      • regulating commerce b/w states and other countries
      • establishing post offices and issuing postage
      • making laws necessary to enforce the constitution
    • Concurrent powers
      • setting up courts
      • creating and collecting taxes
      • building highways
      • borrowing money
      • making and enforcing laws
      • chartering banks and corporations
      • spending money to improve general welfare
      • compulsory purchase
    • Obama
      • federal govt assistance to the state inc from 3.7% of the GDP(2008) to 4.6% (2009)
      • the ratio of state govt employees to fed employees at highest since new deal in the 30s
      • Money from the fed govt to state inc from 25% of state spending in 2008 to 30% in 2009
        • 2003 economic stimulus package $20bn to states, 2009 $246bn to states
          • Due to the reauthorisation of the State Children's Health Insurance Programme (2009), the expansion of Medicaid and the Race to the Top Programme
      • The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care)
        • Described by Reps as 'the end of federalism'
        • Tea Party Movement accused him of being more of a socialist than a federalist
        • 2010 exit polls 74% of Reps and 60% of Inds agreed that 'federal govt is doing too many things better left to business and individuals'
        • Untitled

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