Betsy Markey-DHS Intergovernmental Affairs


What does the term Intergovernmental Affairs actually mean in Washington. Well in 1984 the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act became law and that did not make any clearer the terminology. What it really means is that someone organizationally is the spearpoint to see that FEDERAL departments and agencies don’t undermine our federal system and principles of federalism. What are the principles of federalism? Well some might think they are states rights. Looking at the Constitution it quickly is obvious that despite the 10th Amendment and other provisions, the PEOPLE of the US formed that Constitution not the STATES.  Some might argue that the Civil War from 1861-1865 impacted the notion of STATES rights but given current politics many seem to overlook the importance of Lincoln’s coinage of the term ‘by the people, and for the people”!

So I always follow the funding and staffing of the Intergovernmental positions with great interest. DHS now has a new person in the key job-Betsy Markey.

For background go to:

She seems to have devoted her life to public service which indicates to me that she has distinct promise in her new job. She also served one term in Congress and that gives her a perspective on how little Congress really cares about Federalism or Intergovernmental relations. Congress largely about greed and power and earmarks not much for what is in the common interest.  What many do forget is that the US has a
Consitution premised on checks and balances. So as issues play out over time I would hope that Ms. Markey gets a real policy shot at many if not all DHS programs, functions, and activities. Perhaps buttressing her job is a President Clinton Executive Order promoting federalism and intergovernmental relations. So good luck Betsy.
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