Is the Ability to Shutter Government Services and Declare National Emergencies being Abused by US Presidents?

March 21, 2019 :: Dr. James Tagg
Moderated by Bev Muendel-Atherstone

US President Trump recently declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall on the US – Mexico border without the approval of Congress on the heels of signing a bipartisan government spending bill that would prevent another partial government services closure following a historic 35-day shutdown in December and January. That shutdown was caused by Trump’s demand that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall funding as part of legislation to fund certain government agencies.

The Republican president’s move, circumventing Congress and legal scrutiny, seeks to make good on a 2016 presidential campaign promise to build a border wall that Trump contend is needed to stop migrants from entering the US and bringing with them, crime and drugs. Signing the new spending bill represented a legislative defeat for him since it contained even less money for his proposed wall.

The speaker will look more broadly at the dysfunctional crisis of American governance (at the national level), and the precedence for this that can be found in American history, ending with special attention being paid to the last fifty years of American governance. He will also detail some of the constitutional powers afforded US presidents and whether such powers are too often abused in the context of present day politics and the extreme partisanship dividing democrats and republicans in Congress.

Speaker: Dr. James Tagg

Dr. Tagg joined the University of Lethbridge in 1969. He received his PhD in History from Wayne State University in Michigan in 1973. For almost 35 years, he taught the sweep of American History, initiated the first southern Alberta history course and helped establish a program in Liberal Education at the University of Lethbridge.

Dr. Tagg's research interests have been related to the Early Republic of the United States (1789-1815), with an emphasis on early American politics and journalism. Currently, Dr. Tagg is working on a kind of "anti-biography" of Gouverneur Morris-- the man who wrote the U.S. constitution -- giving attention and importance to his grandiose psychological make-up and his sex life.

Moderator: Bev Muendel-Atherstone

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Time: Doors open 11:30 am, Presentation 12 noon, buffet lunch 12:30 pm, Q&A 1 – 1:30 pm
Location:Royal Canadian Legion (north door) 324 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. Lethbridge
Cost: $14 buffet lunch with dessert/coffee/tea/juice or $2 coffee/tea/juice. RSVP not required

Share URL: