WGA testimony urges Congress to ‘clarify’ language recognizing states as co-sovereigns before Speaker’s Task Force

WGA delivered testimony before the House Speaker’s Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs that expressed the Western Governors’ position on the state-federal relationship. The comments were focused on the need to improve federal agencies’ consultation with states and legislative clarifications to address this critical issue.

The testimony, delivered on Nov. 16, 2018 by WGA Policy Advisor Britta Beckstead, is in response to the Task Force’s hearings to examine the current state of intergovernmental relationships and the history and evolution of federalism.

“The Governors are asking Congress to clarify existing law by recognizing states’ legal status and requiring federal agencies to meaningfully consult with states. They are not asking for Congress to require consensus among affected states or a particular result for federal actions that require consultation,” Beckstead said in her remarks. “This legislative solution would merely establish a process, so that state voices are heard, considered, and respected in accordance with their status as co-sovereigns.”

The testimony focused on meaningful consultation with states, and included specific recommendations to improve the state-federal relationship.

Read, download the testimony.   

Watch the hearing.

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