Washington Monthly: The Most Promising Presidential Reform Moment Since Watergate
The Presidential Reform Project and project co-chairs Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith were featured in the article “The Most Promising Presidential Reform Moment Since Watergate” in Washington Monthly.
The Biden White House—like any White House—will voice concerns about the imposition of new guardrails on the presidency. Having campaigned, however, as the anti-Trump, and having extraordinary experience in the legislative branch, President Biden would likely be the most sympathetic chief executive imaginable when it comes to these reforms. As a senator, for example, he too pushed for extensive reform of the War Powers Resolution.
Moreover, organized support from outside the government has the potential to add momentum for the enactment of these bills in some form. The nonprofit Protect Democracy, which boasts a bipartisan “cross-ideological advisory board,” is organizing support for the PDA. Further, the PDA and the proposed National Security Powers Act cover many of the concerns—even if not precisely following each recommended detail—voiced by the law professors Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith in their widely noted 2020 book, After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency. Bauer, a former White House counsel under President Barack Obama, and Goldsmith, a former Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, have launched their own bipartisan program—the Presidential Reform Project—to build support for such reform initiatives.