Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney speaks at a “Restoring Federalism” event Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation. (Photo: Willis Bretz for The Heritage Foundation)

On Wednesday, Heritage hosted a half-day symposium, entitled “Restoring Federalism: Giving Power Back to the States.” In a truly federalist system, states would be far freer than today to manage their own affairs. But decades of Big Government overreach has shifted power away from states to Washington.

Leaders speaking at the symposium included acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who noted that there is growing suspicion of Big Government among young people. “If you ask young people, ‘Give me a list of things that government, writ large, does extraordinarily well,’ it’s a fairly short list,” he said. Mulvaney added that we should take advantage of the opportunity to build support for federalism among the next generation.

Other speakers included Russ Vought, former Heritage Action for America vice president – now acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Also speaking were Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt; Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Deputy Assistant to the President Doug Hoelscher; Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah; Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodger, R-Wash.; and state and local officials.

Watch the full event here.

Listen on the Heritage Events podcast.

From The Daily Signal: Broad Skepticism of Big Government Is Good for Federalism, Mulvaney Says

How can conservatives better promote federalism in America?

Comments (16)

Dante - July 19, 2019

Of course the first thing on the list is term limits
(Very hard to vote yourself out of a job. )
Next got back to having the States appoint their Senators (hard but necessary)
Most of all get rid of the Department of Education and turn it over to the states., Then cut off all funding to colleges that do not have at least 30% conservative professors.
Just saying

Jane Buney - July 19, 2019

Democrats always use names like “the Equality Act” making it sound desirable! Federalism doesn’t have that appeal and most don’t understand what you’re talking about! The word federal sound distant. Rename Federalism to portray the appeal of decisions/power made close to home where individuals are served not big government!

Bill Thoreson - July 19, 2019

Central control can be great if your guy is the leader. Sunni and Shia both want the same thing but they have been killing each other for centuries with no end in sight. This example is the best example of why federalism produces more happy citizens.

Carl Williams - July 19, 2019

Overturn the 17th amendment and let the state legislatures appoint the US senators as originally written in the Constitution. This amendment is an abomination to the intent of the Framers of our Constitution. Then dissolve/dilute the executive ability to legislate through agencies created by congresses to lazy to do their own job.

Jules - July 19, 2019

By providing a curriculum on the history of federalism and its purposes and supplying it to home school and other families free of charge.

Murf Appling - July 20, 2019

As a former Capt. N the USA stated on many occasions: “this is not a Federal case” is a most difficult ??? The concept of Federalism is a direct casualty to the dreaded “P” word – “Politics”!! Any prospective “candidate” or “front runner” is going to “promise” everything to everyone! Regardless of the local or state requirements. As we use to discuss N American Government class: “who knows more about Shelby County schools, local laws, problems? The people of Shelby County or some bureaucrat N Washington, DC” Plus, the
“nationalization” of the 14th Amend & the powers of the Federal Courts have all but diminished the concept of Federalism. Where N “The Document” is Education, Energy, Labor, Health, Human Services, etc.. mentioned? All were designed for state governance.

William Coates - July 20, 2019

Promoting the states’ side of federalism is opposed by the media and the D.C. bureaucracy. Hopeless until the economy takes such a big hit that federal departments have to be shut down and their functions, if useful, left to state and local institutions due to lack of federal resources.

Pat Ellis - July 20, 2019

Publicize Mulvaney’s interview about short list of big government’s successes! Talk and write about big gov’t big failures and how expensive they have been (VA, Obamacare, and many others). Write about successes in successes when programs are taken over by the states.

Roger O’Daniel - July 20, 2019

First, stop calling it a democracy. We are a representative republic bound by a confederation of sovereign States. Democracies are not scalable. Second, stop ignoring our Constitution, especially the 10th Amendment. This is not enumerated in that document; therefore it is not the business of the Federal Government. Third, hold federal politicians accountable for breaches in their oath of office. That is a start of a very long list of remedies.

Robeet J. Amato - July 20, 2019

I like this idea of power to the States. I think the Department of Education should be eliminated. That way education would nothing be controlled nationally and there would more parental control

Mona - July 20, 2019

Promote how the traditional political belief of the Revolutionary Era held that strong centralized authority would inevitably lead to an abuse of power. The Constitution was required in order to safeguard the liberty and independence that the American Revolution had created and they saw their most import role as defending the social gains of the Revolution.

Terry M McCall - July 21, 2019

Educating the public on the limited powers the Constitution gives the Federal Government would be a great start. Also, promotion of the move to call a convention of states to discuss/debate Federal Government overreach is a more than worthy endeavor.

Tom Haskin - July 21, 2019

I agree with Mr. Mulvaney; get the ‘government’ out of , what should be, the ‘States’ business ! I feel the “on-the-job” training programs, as President Trump suggested, would help educate and give ‘experience’ to the young employees, so they could learn and earn a better, deserving wage.

Richard M. Reeser - July 22, 2019

Decentralize – Congress and the many Exec. Branch agencies that deal with domestic problems and issues should be regionalized. Our Country was divided into ten regions, in 1969-70. They exist, with appointed Staffers, but do not seem to do anything. The Congressional delegations of the ten Districts would become more accountable for issues that affect their Regions, and would require ‘compromises’ with Regional District delegations to balance issues, and budgets, within the Regions. They should be expected to spend 2/3 to 3/4 of their time, annually, within their Region, then balance of a year in D.C., to ENACT domestic budgets and the ‘global’ issues/budgets affecting Defense, State, Treasury, Judicial Depts (or other) of the Exec. Branch. It would become a different way of thinking, and functioning, for our Country, which now reaches from N.E. Maine to Hawaii, and from the Florida Keys to the Alaska coast near N.E. Asia, spanning 1/5 to 1/4 of the northern hemisphere! It is complex; but, we are a much bigger, more complex Country (after 240+ yrs.) in a more complex world than a 10 mile square ‘National HQ’ district should be expected to accomodate. Indeed, we might start by a Repeal of the 17th Amdt and then sub-divide the non-constitutional D.o.J.- the unelected 4th Branch of Govt. – into sub-sets of the Cabinet level Departments, with limits in place of the excesses of power by which they/it currently operates. More to it…

Mack McKinney - July 23, 2019

We need to publicize examples when a state that tackles a tough problem and solves it. We need visible results to show young people. Find innovative approaches by states, especially approaches that might not scale up to whole-USA sized operations. We need a clear example of the benefits as well: disband the Dept of Education and clearly show the increase in CASH that becomes available to teachers at the local level. The difference is waste: the amount of money eaten up by multiple layers of “administration and management” of that money.

John W. Marson - July 25, 2019

For one thing, the people in government, sat asleep and let God be taken out of schools. Then while they continued to sleep, they let monopolies like wal-mart drive out all the small stores, by buying all their products from China. The fat cats at the top refuse to pay decent wages. A rising tide raises all boats, but they only want their boat to float. They, plus a terrible anti American government through wasteful spending has sucked all the money from society. Now people can’t afford to buy boats and have extras because they’re too busy working way too much so they can pay their way too high taxes.

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