Andrew Rudalevige

Andrew Rudalevige is an associate professor of political science at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and also teaches in the college's policy studies program.

Recent Articles

Blame Avoidance and Budget Politics

Yesterday’s House approval of a line-item veto bill ( HR 3521 ) continues our national reprise of the budget politics of the 1990s—complete with Newt Gingrich, but probably without the rather important denouement of ultimate compromise and budget surplus. It is worth thinking about the structure and likely outcome of line-item veto proposals. Given the importance of the veto power to interbranch relations, why would Congress expand its scope, encouraging presidential encroachment on the power of the purse? The short answer is that item vetoes may be less about a balanced budget than about shifting blame for the failure to achieve one. More than forty state governors have some sort of power to excise amounts, individual items, sections or even letters of text from an appropriations bill. Such a power was in the Confederacy’s constitution too. But the “presentment clause” of the US Constitution, on the other hand, treats a given bill as a single “it” which presidents can sign or veto...

The Mitt-ens Come Off

You may have seen a news item in today’s New York Times (posted yesterday as part of “The Caucus” blog on the Times ’ site), which noted that negative ads accounted for over 90% of the political advertising Floridians saw during the last week. Figures are courtesy of Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group. Anti-Gingrich 68% Anti-Romney 23% Pro-Gingrich 9% Pro-Romney 0.1% Or, put another way:

Colbert “out-legals” Justice Stevens

Just in case the Republican primary is not providing enough entertainment… here’s Stephen Colbert arguing with John Paul Stevens about Bush v Gore , Citizens United , and his greatest regrets (“this interview”).

The History of Bureaucratic Feng Shui

Roy Ash, an important figure in the “battles of the budget” in the 1970s as director of OMB under Presidents Nixon and Ford, died this week. (His obituary is here .) Given President Obama’s proposal today on government reorganization —he hopes to merge six agencies dealing with business and trade into one—it is timely to note the history of such efforts and the lessons Roy Ash might teach us on that front. Ash chaired the 1969 President’s Advisory Council on Executive Organization, which built on a prior study to urge the renaming and restructuring of the Bureau of the Budget (up until two days before the transmission of the reorganization plan to Congress, what would become the Office of Management and Budget was to be called the Office of Executive Management.) Ash also recommended the creation of the Domestic Council inside the Executive Office of the President, as a vehicle to facilitate creative policy formulation. In his March 1970 message to Congress on the topic, President...

Happy Birthday, Brownlow Report!

Yes, I know today is devoted to New Hampshire (live free or die…), but the departure of William Daley as White House chief of staff gives me the excuse to trumpet the 75th anniversary of the Brownlow Committee report to President Franklin Roosevelt—released this week in 1937. After all, without the Brownlow report, there would be no staff to be chief of. Doubtless that overstates. But the January 1937 report of the President’s Committee on Administrative Management , made up of public administration mandarins Louis Brownlow, Luther Gulick, and Charlies Merriam (all closely supervised by FDR ), served as the basis of the Reorganization Act of 1939 and Executive Order 8248 that same year, creating the Executive Office of the President. The EOP was to house the new White House Office and, importantly, the Bureau of the Budget (today’s Office of Management and Budget, then part of the Treasury), but its population grew quickly. In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower appointed the first White House...

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