As part of its annual Congress Week celebration, the Russell Library and SPIA are hosting Loch K Johnson, Regents Professor Emeritus of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, who will deliver a lecture entitled, "Congress and the Decline of Democracy in the United States: Is the Legislative Branch Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?" on Tuesday, April 11. Q&A and a catered reception will follow. Copies of Professor Johnson's latest book, The Third Option: Covert Action and American Foreign Policy, will be available to purchase.
Recent administrations in Washington have embraced a largely unilateral presidential approach to U.S. national security policy. This display of hubris in the White House has been most evident in the war and the spy powers, but at times the treaty power has been affected as well. All too many lawmakers in both parties have seemed content to avoid their obligations to serve as a check on the executive branch of government, as set forth in Article I of the Constitution. Unless reversed, the failure of Congress to rein in the reckless presidential use of the war, spy, and treaty powers will lead to the end of America's noble experiment in democracy. In its place will come what the nation's founders feared most of all: the rise of autocratic rule.
Congress Week is an annual program sponsored by the Associations of Centers for the Study of Congress (ACSC). The Russell Library is a founding member of ACSC. This event sponsored by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and the School of Public and International Affairs.