Accordingly, Congress is in no position to give up its Constitutional right to determine spending; it just needs to do so in a way true to our founders’ intent that we would be a nation of laws and not men. This means adherence to a process, and that’s where I think the bill by Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., got it right in finding a middle course on infrastructure spending. It requires Congress to formally authorize the projects proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers and lays out requirements that they need to meet. This more balanced approach maintains the ability of each branch of government to keep the others in line and now makes sure that whenever taxpayer dollars are spent on infrastructure, Congress gives the final go-ahead.
Ultimately, I think Shuster’s bill is a step forward for taxpayers because it builds a process for more effective government spending and works to restore the constitutional balance of power between branches. And let’s all think on that — more effective and balanced is something Washington could use a lot more of these days.
Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.