by Pamela Clouser McCann
We ask the question: what are the conditions under which legislators would vote against fiscal transfers to their states? We argue that members of Congress, who care about the ability to claim credit and show their constituents they are fighting for their interests, think carefully about their intergovernmental context and the fact that executive branch agencies disseminate federal dollars and implement federal programs.
We think we know how federalism works. Republicans believe in states’ rights, and Democrats want a strong federal government, right? Not so fast. New research reveals a whole different tug of war playing out on Capitol Hill. Our legislators don’t always do what they say, but they do have a strategy to design and implement our laws. It turns out that federalism is ground zero in their battle for partisan power—and now we finally know how the game is being played.
In this episode, we go behind-the-scenes with the researcher who uncovered these terms of engagement, Pamela Clouser McCann.
By Matthew Kredell Ever since she worked for a state-level agency before attending graduate school, USC Price Assistant Professor Pamela McCann has been intrigued by when and why Congress chooses to delegate to the states for implementation of federal policy. In her new book The Federal Design Dilemma: Congress and Intergovernmental Delegation (Cambridge University Press),…