student of government can reasonably protest the transfer to the federal government of powers which the states are either unable or unwilling to use effectively." 49
Congressional action to solve interstate problems will tend to be of the nature of continual tinkering rather than comprehensive reform of interstate relations. The failure of Congress to lead in this area is even more alarming in view of the current drive in Congress to devolve to states more powers which have the potential for creating additional nonuniformity problems. States, for example, currently are raising barriers to the migration of welfare recipients. 50
If Congress continues to preempt occasionally the regulatory authority of the states over a long period of time, the weakening of the federal nature of the union will deprive the system of a number of its advantages, including the ability of states to respond quickly to solve a state or regional problem and to serve as laboratories of democracies engaged in experimental service delivery and regional and national problem solving programs which can be exported, if successful, to other states and Congress. Furthermore, preemption will reduce opportunities for citizens to play important participatory roles in the governance system.
Can the undesirable consequences of current state policies affecting sister states and congressional preemption be avoided? The answer is yes provided key components of the model presented in this chapter are adopted. Political realities, however, suggest that few model components will be implemented in the near future.
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Publication information: Book title: Interstate Relations:The Neglected Dimension of Federalism. Contributors: Joseph F. Zimmerman - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 233.
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