Writer Contends that American Federalism is in Tatters 

By Stuart MacPhail – January 2021

On December 9, Donald F. Kettl, columnist for Governing, offered 7 Steps to the Resurgent Federalism Biden Will Need.  He says, “Without reinvigorating our tattered intergovernmental partnership, his administration will be doomed as it tries to tackle enormous, urgent and inescapable challenges.”

Kettl contends, “It’s been a very long time — perhaps dating back to Roosevelt in 1933 — since a president has taken office with federalism in such tatters.  Just consider what’s happened: The federal government has dumped many of its public health responsibilities for COVID-19 onto the states; in some states governors have been at war with mayors; and President Trump has impugned vote counting by state and local officials.  Surrounding it all, America’s ugly shadow of local racism has reared up with an angry national voice.”

Of Kettl’s 7 proposed steps, the first 4 and the 6th deal with addressing COVID19 and health care issues.  Then comes racial tensions and finally he says more generally “if new policies are to become realities, the road from big ideas in Washington runs through state and local governments.  This is a road that deserves far more of our attention.”  Read his commentary HERE.

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