[7] Presidency.pdf

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Government and Politics
GVPT 170
Patrick Wohlfarth

[7] Presidency Monday,October 21,2013 10:05 AM Paradox of the Presidency • Expectations of the president are large • But the Constitution gives only limited formal authority • Hence…expectations often exceed (formal) resources • sometimes informal powers can help president to meet expectations The Executive Branch Article II: “The Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States.” • Formal Powers: • Executive power • Faithfully implement & administer the law • Commander-in-Chief • military.the only person can technically start a war • Make treaties (two-thirds of Senate to confirm) • Appoint judges & major executive branch officials • branch officials: check by senate-Advice and consent of the Senate (i.e.,majority vote); confirm or disconfirm by senate that validates the presidents appointment • Veto • it's tough for congress to stop the veto • so usually it's going to the final • 2/3 in congress to override,that is a super majority.imagine how painful it will be for the congress. Presidents have expanded their authority over time The President as Commander-in-Chief • The Constitution declares the president to be commander-in-chief of the armed forces. • But ONLY CONGRESS can declare war. …What to do? Presidents have the advantage: • Only President can commit (deploy) troops • President makes first move,congress can not • need congress to authorize the money spending-congress's holdback process • the only thing congress can do.the important check. • Can Congress refuse support? • Not essential to have a formal declaration of war (e.g.,Korea & Vietnam) • Citizens rally around President in a crisis • rally around: to unite or assemble in support of someone or something • Efficiency of decision making-one person making decision War Powers Act of 1973 -48 hours,60 days • Presidents routinely ignore it (e.g.,Grenada,Somalia,Kosovo) • Has not been tested in the courts The President As Head Diplomat -"half symbolic,half policy" • both shaking hands and shaping policies • “…to receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers” • Two-Thirds majority of the Senate to ratify treaties-Senate's check • using Executive Agreements can go around this The President As Chief Executive -Article II: • “The executive power shall be vested in a president of the United States…” • “…take care that the laws be faithfully executed” • Constitution does not define these powers • Leads to implied powers that are inferred -> "how far those executive power stands?-not specific" "president is the top of executive power" -> so what are the concrete ways the president execute power Much discretion given to Presidents [⾃自由裁量权] • Executive privilege • president's ability to withhold / give information • e.g.Nixon Watergate-Nixon if not directing of it,but has full knowledge of it • Increased use of Executive Orders (domestic policy) & Executive Agreements (international policy) • Do not require Congressional approval • Full power of the law -> constraints: cannot violate the established congressional approved law/statue The President As Legislator The Constitution gives presidents only a modest role in the legislative arena. • May call Congress into special session. • Veto laws. • Must report “from time to time”to Congress with State of the Union address. The Veto • Veto bills passed by Congress • Congress can override with 2/3rds majority • Powerful negative weapon • Real veto: it is hard for congress to get to 2/3 majority • Threat of veto: may get Congress to adjust • Use of veto may also suggest failure to persuade Line-item Veto • Passed in 1996,used in 1997,& then declared unconstitutional in 1998 • Most states grant this power to their Governors -to pass certain lines. Factors Shaping Presidential Power • Party control in Congress • your party is the majority in congress or not • Time in a President’s term • Honeymoon • early on a president's registration-easier to get things done • president relatively more popular early on • haven't have ability to do things in the office to get criticized • Lame Duck • A lame duck is an elected official who is approaching the end of his or her tenure,especially one whose successor has already been elected. • Lame Duck officials tend to have less political power,as other elected officials are less inclined to cooperate with them.However,lame ducks are also in the peculiar position of not facing the consequences of their actions in a subsequent election,giving them greater freedom to issue unpopular decisions or appointments. • The Election cycle • reelection of congress affects president • fear to get things done being fearful to give issue to the opp
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