By A. Hadenius
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As we will see in the next chapter, President Clinton made a serious attempt in the early 1990s to carry out such a reform. Despite Democratic control of both chambers of Congress, the effort failed. Less than 20 years later, however, President Obama was able, under similar political conditions, to sign a similar health plan into law. How this turnabout was made possible has its own specific story, to which we will return. Federal Structure Given the considerable growth of the federal sector just documented, with its parallel expansion of the executive side of government (a development to be detailed in the following chapter), there is reason to ask: What has happened with the American federal structure?
Selection of representatives to the chamber (i) Representatives are regionally selected and are appointed by a (regional) government institution; (ii) Representatives are regionally selected and are appointed through general popular elections; or (iii) Representatives are not regionally selected. 2. Seat distribution within the chamber (i) All regional units have the same representation (and voting weight); (ii) A small differentiation is made in accordance with population size; or (iii) A large differentiation is made in accordance with population size.
A few things need to be clarified at the outset. The prime characteristic of a federal state is its application of parallel decision-making structures. The right to enact laws and to issue executive orders is divided. The central (federal) government can make binding decisions on matters that have bearing across the whole country. At the same time, the governments of the subunits—the “states” in the case of the United States—have the same authority within their respective geographical areas. Thus, citizens are affected both by rules that apply throughout the country and by rules that have effect only in that part of the country where they live.
American Exceptionalism Revisited: US Political Development in Comparative Perspective by A. Hadenius