Congressional Dysfunction: The Many Failures of the 118th Congress

By Naveen Wineland ’27
Managing Editor, Ike’s Anvil

Naveen Wineland ’27

On February 15, the House of Representatives went on vacation, a two-week recess until February 28. This recess occurred despite numerous pressing challenges requiring our legislature’s urgent attention. During this break, Avdiivka (one of the most critical “fortress cities” in Ukraine) fell to Russian advances due to a lack of American weaponry. Also during this recess, tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants crossed the border due to a lack of adequate legislation from Congress. This is all occurring amid a looming government shutdown, especially since the recess left Congress almost no time to make a deal. A shutdown was narrowly averted with temporary funding through March 8, with 12 funding bills once again in limbo. This is only one manifestation of a House incapable of legislating since being sworn in on January 3, 2023. 

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Congress, the Court and its Surprises

By Drew Lemon ’24

Drew Lemon ’24

For many years, the United States Congress has exercised its powers to investigate controversial topics, including foreign policy, presidential power and federal spending. Often, Congress has used its legal authority to compel other authorities to provide information, as members carry out their necessary and proper power to make and execute federal laws. However, the U.S. Supreme Court continues to grapple with challenging questions on the limits of Congressional authority to compel information. The Court recently decided to dismiss a case that would have addressed a pressing question regarding Congress’ authority to demand information from an executive agency. This case represents a hallmark of separation of powers, and the Federalist debate. 

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Reexamining U.S. Agricultural Subsidies

By Owen Labruna ’24

Owen Labruna ’24

While the Great Depression affected almost all sectors of the United States economy, the farming industry, which employed nearly a quarter of the country’s population, was hit particularly hard. In response, one of the first laws passed by the Roosevelt Administration was the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 (AAA). Although it had good intentions at the time, the AAA has largely devolved into direct handouts to farmers, overwhelmingly incentivizing the production of only five crops: corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice. 

While government subsidies persist, the agriculture industry has changed drastically. Despite representing only 10% of incentive recipients, large corporations now control much of the farming industry and receive almost 66% of subsidy dollars.

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