5th Block: Which is more powerful, the executive or legislative branch?
One of the biggest ways that Congress is more powerful than the presidency is Power Of The Purse. First of all, Congress has the power to control how much money is given to different departments, which essentially gives them the power to control government operations. Money is power, so congress can essentially give certain departments much more power. Congress often cuts certain department’s funding to render that department powerless. In addition, they also give certain departments increased funding to give them more power. An example of this is the Department of Education, which often has its budget amended. In just last year, Congress passed the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2018 (P.L. 115-141). This law gave the Department of Education increased funding. In addition, Congress can control taxes with revenue bills meaning it can quickly raise money in specific areas if needed. Revenue bills all originate in the House of Representatives in Congress. Power of the purse gives Congress a big leg up over the President.
Even though it's true that congress controls the budget of the agencies using the Power of the Purse, it is still required for the president to approve the budget. The president can use this power to force Congress to compromise with what he/she wants. An example of this is when Trump refused to approve the budget because Congress wouldn't give him money to build the wall, this caused the government to shutdown which eventually made Congress do what he asked for.
The legislative branch's power over the President is also extended with the power of Impeachment. Congress has the power to impeach a president with a supermajority. Impeachment serves as a way for congress to keep the president in check. Even if the president has a technical power over congress, he is somewhat restricted from using it to his advantage because of the risk of impeachment. Although a president has never been impeached, Richard Nixon came so close to impeachment that he resigned his position as President in 1974 after a scandal. This is evidence that Congress has power over the president. Congress can choose to have impeachment trials with a supermajority. Officials believe that Nixon would certainly have been impeached and removed from office. Thus, Impeachment is an important feature of Congress that puts itself above the president in terms of power.
Impeachment is extremely hard to achieve and even harder to prevent from backfiring. Often times, after an impeachment attempt congressmen will be hit hard from voters. Not to mention, getting a super majority in and of itself is extremely difficult. The combination of these two factors means that impeachment is not nearly as powerful as it may seem.
Good argument. Even though the Congress has the power to impeach the president, the president can still remain in his given office. Also impeachment requires a super majority which is very unlikely to happen because of gridlock due the division of the chambers (polarization). Gridlock within Congress can prevent a lot of actions from taking place.
Last but not least, Congress is more powerful than the President because of veto override power. Congress can override a veto that the president uses. After this, there is no way the president can stop the passage of a law. An example of veto override is the 9/11 Bill. in 2016, Congress passed the 9/11 Bill, which allowed families who had loved ones killed by the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue the country, Saudi Arabia. However, President Obama vetoed this bill. But with their supermajority, Congress used a veto override. This is a direct example of Congress’s power over the presidency because, after this point president Obama had no control over the law being passed by Congress. In addition, SCOTUS can not determine that a veto power is unconstitutional because the existence of the law is already in place and a veto override is an enumerated power of congress. In conclusion, Veto Overriding gives Congress power over the Presidency
One reason that Congress is more powerful than the President is the House of Representatives’s “Power of the Purse,” allowing Congressmen, with a super-majority, to “lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States” - Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. In simpler terms, the Legislative Branch controls the flow of money to certain areas. For example, Congress controls the tax percentages of every American, including the President! America is a capitalistic society meaning that money is power. One of the President’s main powers is that he is the Commander and Chief and controls the military forces. The President can issue troops to foreign nations without Congress’s approval. However, Congress still completely controls the situation. With money being the foundation of all military supplies including: bullets, food, water, and equipment, the use of military force is virtually ineffective if Congress does not fund the supplies. Saying this, the President’s benefits of being Commander and Chief are close to none without the Legislative Branch.
One of the main reasons as to why the Legislative Branch is more powerful than the Executive Branch is Congress’s ability to produce laws. Congress has complete authority over all aspects of the billing process. Members of Congress are the only people allowed to introduce a bill. The President can provide suggestions, but it is purely the Senator’s or Congressmen’s decision whether to adhere to the recommendation. When a bill is approved by one chamber, it is then appointed to the other chamber for similar debate and trials. Only after the other chamber’s approval does the bill go to the President. If the President wants, he or she can veto or pocket veto the bill to kill the bill. However, according to Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2 of the Constitution, with a super-majority vote from Congress, a President’s veto or pocket veto can be overridden. Though rare, this process is completely within the Constitution and can be used to effectively bypass any of the President’s attempts to retard the billing process. Thus, Congress has the ability to produce legislation, the laws that are the structure of America, without any opposing authority, making the Legislative Branch far superior to the Executive Branch.
Although Congress can override the President’s veto with a super-majority vote from both chambers, this is very unlikely to happen because of how gridlocked and polarized Congress is. In regards to your claim about “pocket vetoes”, they actually can’t be overridden by Congress. According to Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2 of the Constitution,”...in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent Its Return, in which Case it shall not be a law.” A pocket veto is an absolute veto that can't be overridden. Because it can't be overridden, the President can get around Congress by issuing pocket vetoes when Congress is adjourned. Therefore,the executive branch has more power than Congress, especially in terms of the bill process.
Veto overrides are much harder in practice than they may seem. Super majorities are almost impossible to form and, as such are almost never utilized to override a veto. While it is completely within congresses enumerated powers, its uses are few and far between, and the vast majority of the time do little to make a dent in the executive branch's veto power.
Congress does not have complete authority over the billing process. Presidents, once they sign a bill, can issue signing statements that can alter how the law is implemented. Even if congress works extremely hard to make a bill to their own specifications, the president can almost twist congresses words to make the law suit them.
FOR THE PRESIDENT: The President can veto bills from congress according to Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution, allowing the president to have more power. Though Congress can go through the work of making a reasonable bill, it does not have to be passed as a law unless the president signs it. The veto can be overridden only by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House, which is difficult to do. If this occurs, the bill becomes law over the President's objections. However, the President can reinterpret the meaning of the law by writing an essay explaining its meaning. The President can also pocket veto, which is an absolute veto that congress can not override. All the President has to do is not sign the bill until it is too late for it to be dealt with during the legislative session. The veto becomes effective when the President does not sign a bill after Congress has adjourned and is unable to override the veto.
FOR THE PRESIDENT:
The President can create executive orders,which are recorded in the Federal Register and considered binding. Because of this, the President can decide what legislation will be enforced. Also, In the instance of an emergency, the President can quickly make a change in order. In congress, the process would take much longer for something to be enforced. An example of this would be in 1948, Truman issued an executive order desegregating the nation’s armed forces. If this were to be voted on by congress in that era, it would have been unlikely for a majority to vote in favor of desegregation. Therefore, the ability for the president to create executive orders is important.
The intent of the framers when constructing the presidency was to have a strong leader that had enough power, but not too much power to make them a dictator. With that being said, the executive branch is considerably more powerful than Congress. The President has less enumerated powers and more informal and inherent powers than Congress which makes him/her more powerful. An example of the President's informal powers is executive privilege which allows the President to refuse to disclose information regarding confidential conversations or national security to Congress or the judiciary. Another example of the President's informal powers is his/her's ability to make executive orders. Executive Orders are rules or regulations issued by the President that has the effect of law. Because executive orders do not require congressional approval, the President can set important policy while sidestepping public debate. Executive agreements, which is another implied power, are treaties made with foreign nations without the Senate's approval. The president also has the implied power to make executive agreements which give the President a way to get around the Senate to make foreign policy. By having more implied powers than enumerated powers, the President's power is not restricted to a list. Unlike Congress, who have 27 enumerated powers.
The executive branch is more powerful than the legislative branch for a numerous amount of reasons. One of those reasons is the President's ability to veto bills made by Congress. While Congress can produce policy, the final step in a bill becoming a law is the president's signature. If the President doesn't want to pass a bill, then he can veto it. Although Congress can override the veto, it requires 2/3 of both houses. This is very unlikely to happen because of how gridlocked and partisan Congress is. Alongside the regular veto, the President also has the power to pocket veto. A pocket veto is when the President fails to sign a bill passed by both houses within ten days of having it and Congress has adjourned during that time. The pocket veto can't be overridden.
The executive branch is more powerful than Congress because of the President's ability to make quick decisions. Based on Federalist 70, the President is able to act quickly to face an invader or put down an insurrection in the face of foreign threats. The President's informal powers ,also, allow the President to act quickly in times of war; for example, sending troops into combat without a formal declaration from Congress. Besides war and the threat of foreign threats, the President is also able to make quick decisions for regular things. By having the ability to make executive orders, the President can order a policy into existence without having to go through Congress.
A reason as to why the Legislative Branch is more powerful than the Executive Branch is that Congress is directly elected by the people. In the republic that the framers envisioned in The Great Compromise, the Virginia Plan permitted every member of the House to be elected by the people. But, as we know, the 17th amendment made it so that the Senate is also elected by the people instead of State Legislatures. In both a republic and a democracy, much power resides in the people. A candidate with the majority of a district’s population supporting him or her will get the job. Because the members of the House only represent one district each, the constituents of each district are more directly represented. During a presidential election, there is both a popular vote and Electoral college vote. Yet, the Electoral vote is the only one of the two that is counted. Even if another candidate wins the popular vote, the candidate with more Electoral College votes win. Because Congress is the only branch of government that is directly elected and directly supports the people, and America is a society where the people have the power, it ultimately has greater influence than the President.
For the President:
The President’s formal powers in the Constitution makes the President more powerful than the Congress. In the Constitution, powers given to the President include veto, pardon, and being Commander in Chief. Whenever the Congress goes through bill processing, the President is given the right to pass the bill or reject it through the veto. Another presidential power would be pardons against the United States. A president can give pardons to people despite hearings, trials, and/or verdicts. Lastly being Commander in Chief is a power of the president, meaning he is in charge of all military forces in the nation. Each power shows that the president is more powerful than the Congress because the president is able to override, overpower, and undo Congress doings.
Congress is more powerful than the President because the President leans on Congress for important policies. As an example, budgeting applies to the entire federal government. It provides the set amount that each branch and committee is able to spend, thus making it very important. The President alone cannot pass the budget without the approval of Congress. Congress having the power to approve and pass the budget makes it more powerful than the President. Along with budgeting, congress also has to approve who the president wants to appoint to the government. This acts as a check on the president and furthers Congress’ power. In addition to budgeting and appointees, Congress must also approve the President’s treaties. While the President does have the power to introduce treaties and executive agreements, they do not have as much power as treaties do. Congress has more power because they are what makes treaties permanent. With only an executive agreement, it can be taken away. These powers make Congress more powerful than the President.
In regards to your claim about budgeting, Congress does not have the final say in the budget process. The budget process, for the most part, follows the same route as the bill. The President submits his budget plan to Congress. The House and the Senate create budget resolutions, and then they vote on their bills. Both versions of the bill go to the conference committee, so they can merge the two versions into one. Both chambers vote on the merged bill. If the bill is approved, it goes to the President, who then signs it into law. Therefore, the President actually has the final say in passing the budget.
Congress is more powerful than the president because the congress has enumerated powers. Examples of that would be Congress is in charge of all tariffs and excise taxes. Meaning tax is levied on certain goods and commodities. Also, the president has more power when it comes to war but congress actually has the power to declare war while the president cannot. Also the congress can raise and support armies and a navy, the president is the Commander in Chief so he has a lot of power over the military, but he would not have any power without an army or navy in which the congress creates. Last example for congress having the enumerated powers over the president would be Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes. One of the country's huge sources of income comes from taxing our people and the congress regulates it. The tax money goes into everything from maintaining roads, supporting our military, to space exploration. The president neither has the power to lay nor remove taxes. The president can lower taxes or raise taxes but cannot get rid of it completely.
Congress's enumerated powers are what makes it weaker compared to the President. Congress has 27 enumerated powers whereas, the President only has 6. Because Congress has more enumerated powers, their power is limited to only that list. The President has way more informal/inherent powers which allow him/her to enact executive orders, send out troops without a declaration of war, use executive privilege, and make executive agreements. Having more informal/inherent powers allow the President to have more power than Congress.
While Congress has the enumerated powers, the president also has powers given to him in the constitution. The constitution grants the president the title of Commander in Chief, which gives the president the role of highest ranking member of the military. This gives him most of the control over the army and navy. While Congress may be able to control some aspects of the military, they do not have as much control as the president. The Constitution also gives the president the responsibility of implementing laws. This means that he could either sign a bill into law, or veto a bill. The president can control which bills are actually signed into power, which limits the ability of Congress to enforce their bills. The president has the power to appoint certain government officials, such as Supreme Court Judges and ambassadors. This allows the president to control who interacts with other countries, and to control the Supreme Court to a certain degree.
Congress is more powerful than the President because they have the power to impeach him. An impeachment is the action of calling a president into question and possibly ridding them from the position of President of the United States. If the President steps out of line or out of moral, he can go to trial and Congress can decide whether to impeach him or not. Article 1 section 2 of the Constitution talks about how part of the sole purpose of the House of Representatives is to impeach the President. This shows Congress’ power they have over the President. President Trump’s Impeachment is an example of how impeachment is still something that is a common threat from Congress to the President.
This is true, but the impeachment only can go through if there is significant evidence that the president is doing wrong. Also, the impeachment is a trial, not necessarily a removal from office. Two-thirds of Congress must vote for impeachment, making this difficult to occur due to lack of agreement (gridlock). People will want their party to hold power, so they may do what is best for the promotion of their party instead what is best for the country as a whole.
While this may be true, a portion of the process of impeachment is ridding the president from office so therefore it can fall under the general term of impeachment, as we often use it. As well as the gridlock, it is no lie that Congress is gridlocked; however, that is how the founding fathers designed it in the Constitution so there will always be a check, ridding the issue of a possible overpower.
One reason the President is more powerful than Congress is Executive orders allow the president to make decisions faster than congress, which makes them more powerful. Executive orders require no action from congress and act like laws. The President gets to work around the long process of Congress. Congress can take up to 6 months to make a decision and that’s way too long if quick action is needed. This is an inherent power that only the president has so, the only person able to undo or disregard an executive order is another president, not Congress. An example of this is Trump just launched a drone attack on ISIS Leader with an executive order. In cases like this, the country may be under attack or threatened and decisions will need to be made in haste to guarantee the nation's security.
Congress can slow down the President. Congress has the power to overturn an executive order by passing legislation that invalidates it. Congress can also refuse to provide funding necessary to carry out certain policy measures contained with the order or to legitimize policy mechanisms. Another reason is, Congress can create bills that slow down the President’s executive order. Congress has the powers needed to slow down the President.
FOR THE PRESIDENT:
The President has more wartime powers than congress. The president can deploy troops without congressional approval for up to 90 days and is the Commander in Chief, making him in charge of the armed forces. The president can also create executive agreements with other countries.
The House of Representatives has the Power of the Purse, meaning with a super-majority, the House can freeze the funds and supplies being sent to the soldiers. This makes the soldiers virtually ineffective; therefore, making the President’s abilities as Commander and Chief useless. Yes, the President has the ability to make executive agreements with foreign nations, but is this more powerful than Congress’s commerce powers with foreign nations. This clause allows Congress to “regulate commerce with foreign nations” - Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution. The ability to trade is what makes America one of the best nations in the world, not the ability to make executive agreements. In conclusion, the Commerce Clause is far superior to the ability of the president to make executive agreements, making the Legislative Branch more powerful in this case.
For the President:
Unlike the Congress, the President has more implied powers which makes it more powerful than the Congress. The list of enumerated powers that is given to the Congress limits the Congress to those powers. Even though the Congress can have actions based on the Necessary and Proper Clause, the President has more implied powers because of the president's inherent powers. Also the President is able to go around Congress with executive orders and executive agreements. In addition to those, the president has the right to executive privilege, meaning that everything he acts upon does not have to be transparent to the public. The President’s implied powers allow him to be more powerful than the Congress because the President is not limited and can act freely with his implied powers
Congress can stop or slow down executive agreements that the President issued. Congress can tell another country to not approve a President’s agreement. Congress can trial the President for impeachment in case the agreement was for Presidential gain. Congress can create laws that block the treaty in some way. Congress is more powerful because they can slow down the President's ability to create executive agreements.
Congress is more powerful than the President because they have the power to make laws. Article 1, section 8 states Congress’ enumerated powers to make laws. Although the President does have the power to veto a law, Congress can override that veto. If Congress does override a veto, it skips over the President and goes straight into law, thus making the President irrelevant in this position. We see this in Article 1 Section 7 of the Constitution where it refers to how if it passes enough in the Senate and house, to shall be made into a law.
The president can create executive orders which are similar to laws, but no congressional approval is needed, making the enforcement process faster. And yes, congress CAN override a veto, but only by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House. However, this occurrence is unlikely since over 1,484 bills have been vetoed and only 106 have been overridden. If the veto is overridden, the President can reinterpret the meaning of the law by writing an essay explaining its meaning. This is called a signing statement.
While I will agree that it CAN be difficult to override a President's veto due to Congress' gridlock, I would also state that the gridlock is a check that the founding fathers put on Congress so they cannot over power. As well as the President passing executive orders, this may be true; however, the orders are not permanent and can be undone by any future President at any given moment. The only thing that can make something like an order permanent is if it were to be placed in law, which can only be done through the approval of Congress.
The president’s ability to move quickly makes him more powerful than Congress. One power that allows the president to move more efficiently is the ability to make to make an executive order. For example, in 2013, Barack Obama made an executive order to call for the preparation against the effects of climate change against the U.S.. If this had gone through Congress, it would have taken at least six months for a decision to be made. The president also has the power to create an executive agreement. This is where the president makes an agreement with the leader of another country without ratification from Congress. Executive agreements allow the president to quickly create foreign policy, without having to wait for Congressional approval. Finally, the president has executive privilege, which means he is allowed to keep secrets. This means he can make decisions and do things without having to tell anyone. If he does not have to tell anyone, then he can do a lot without being hindered by anyone who disagrees. All these powers allow the president to work more effectively than Congress.
Although executive orders have the effect of laws, they can easily be reversed by the next president in office. Congress was meant to move slowly and deliberately in order to restrain from making too many laws. Executive agreements have little influence compared to the power of the Commerce Clause on foreign agreements. Executive Privilege can be weakened in order to insure that there is a “fair administration of criminal justice.” In United States v. Nixon, Nixon was forced to produce the audio tapes that he kept secret under executive privilege. The tapes led to Nixon’s resignation from office.
For congress - claim
Congress can override the president's veto, Congress can override the President’s veto if it can get the necessary two–thirds vote of each house, both senate and house of representatives. John Tyler, during what is commonly referred to as the “lame duck” session, in 1845 was when the first president veto override happened, over John Tyler’s attempt to cut revenue. President Barack Obama attempted to veto a bill during his term, called the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” which was resurrected by congress and passed into law. Overriding the president's veto is another example of how you can keep tabs on the president, and make sure he doesn’t become too powerful.
Congress can create laws which gives them more power then the President. For example, Congress has the enumerated power to create laws which is written in the Constitution, Section 8. Also, Congress has the power to override a President’s veto, if the President vetoes Congress’s bill. And once Congress votes for overriding the veto, the President is irrelevant and the bill is passed into a law. Since Congress has the power to create laws without the President, they are, therefore, more powerful.
The powers granted through commander and chief makes the president more powerful than congress. Some evidence that backs up my claim is Armed forces; the president controls all armed forces. Another example would be when Trump used this power when he withdrawn U.S. troops from northern syria. My last evidence would be Potus can stop and start conflict. President can cause war because they can send in troops without notifying congress.
For the executive
Executive privilege can get around congress and their investigations. For example, during McCarthyism, Eisenhower was able to prevent McCarthy from investigating members of the executive by claiming that they had privileged information that could not come out for the sake of the safety of the united states. Under executive privilege, Eisenhower was allowed to do that, ergo executive privilege means that the executive can thwart congress.
The president power as chief of administrator makes him more powerful than congress. Examples would be The Administrator in Chief is responsible for all federal
cabinet departments, such as the
State Department, and
independent agencies, such as NASA. The president has the powers to pardon anyone
for anything except for an impeachable offense
and some other serious crimes. My last example would be a tax cut which forced him to cut
cut budgets for the agencies.
For the executive
When a law is passed by congress, presidents have the ability to make a signing statement in which presidents can interpret the law however they want to. This means that even if congress goes through the trouble to pass a law, which is one of their main powers, the president still gets the last word into how the law actually plays out.
The president has the ability to appoint officers which makes the president more powerful then congress. The Appointment Power confers plenary power to the President to nominate various officials.The president can nominate and appoint judical judges when someone for public official with the consent of the senate.An example would be obama used this power t
appoint James Cole as the deputy attorney general and fill envoy posts to Azerbaijan, Syria and NATO allies Turkey and the Czech Republic.
Many of the positions that the president has the power to appoint must also be confirmed by Congress, more specifically the Senate. Positions that require Senate confirmation include but are not limited to the: secretaries of the fifteen cabinet agencies, Justices of the supreme court, U.S attorneys, U.S marshals, and ambassadors to foreign nations. The appointments of positions that are solely up to the President are very little compared to the appointments of positions that require Senate confirmation. Therefore, Congress is the more powerful branch.
For the President:
The power to sway public makes the President more powerful than the Congress. The President’s ability to bully pulpit allows the president to have a platform to speak with the public through mass media. Also the president is able to make quick decisions for the public, while the Congress is gridlocked due to polarization. According to Federalist 70, the main reason the president does not have multiple chambers for the presidency position is because the public would like a president that makes decisions quickly and for someone to blame and praise during times of decision making. In addition to those, the public can determine the president motives through popular mandates. Popular mandates allows the public to determine the motives behind the presidency. Each power allows for the President to accurately represent the public better than the public.
Congress has the power to control the war effort. Congress has the power to declare war, which is written in the Constitution, Section 8. Congress also is in charge of creating spending bills that provide money to support the army and navy. Another word for their power over creating spending bills is the Power of the Purse. If Congress were to cut funding to the military, then the military will die. The War Powers Act of 1973 was also created to allow Congress to control the President. The President has to consult with Congress within 48 hours before using military force. Congress could also withdraw military forces from the war effort if the President did not get consent from Congress before sending out troops. These provisions just allowed Congress to prevent the President from sustaining in a war without consent.
Executive privilege gives the President more power because it gives them transparency. The president has the right to keep anything secret if they wanted to but Congress doesn’t, they have to list out what they are doing clearly in a congressional record. In 1991, George Bush invoked executive privilege to allow Dick Cheny, the defense secretary at the time, to not have to turn over documents subpoenaed by Congress for a congressional investigation into a Navy aircraft program. The president has much more freedom to do anything they want without letting Congress get involved.
The congress is more powerful than the president because Congress has more foreign policy powers than the president. The president can make treaties with other countries but here comes the checks and balances again, ⅔ of the senate has to agree. Another reason would be the President can make an executive agreement with another country but congress can “go behind the presidents back” and tell that country to not sign with the president. Lastly Congress has the power to create, eliminate, or restructure executive branch agencies such as the CIA, National Security Council, or the Department of Homeland Security.
The president can not make treaties, but they can make executive agreements which are shortcuts to treaties. They do not need congressional approval for this. And yes, members of congress can advise against these, but if an agreement is made that benefits both countries, the other country will likely ignore congress's advise. And regarding your last sentence, the President can chose to appoint new members to these agencies. Eventually, one of them is bound to be approved by congress.
While Congress has more powers in foreign policy, the president has more powerful powers in foreign policy. According to the Constitution, the president has the power to appoint ambassadors and receive ambassadors from other countries. This allows the president to control who interacts with other countries, and control how we interact and communicate with other countries. The president is seen as the face of the country, giving him a lot of power in the press. Thusly, he can control how other countries are portrayed in the media with his ability to set the agenda. Congress does not have this much power in controlling the media. While Congress has to ratify treaties with the president, the president always has the option to make an executive agreement with another country. With an executive agreement, Congress does not have to ratify it, so the president can control foreign policy without a check from Congress.
The president has a great ability to influence the people. The president has a large platform, and can garner a lot of public support. He can use public support to benefit the success of his policy, and undermine Congress. The president also has a massive bully pulpit, which is his ability to reach the entire nation. This makes it easy for the president to reach the entire nation. The president also has a lot of influence when it comes to setting the agenda. With agenda setting, the president can control what the nation and the media focuses on, and can sway the public to support him. The president’s popularity allows him to have a lot of influence.
Congress has the power to confirm the President’s nominees and actions which gives them power over the President. Congress can write a letter to a country and tell them to not sign a treaty with our President. The Senate can also approve presidential appointments; such as cabinet members, federal judicial appointments, ratify treaties and try the President for impeachment. The House of Representatives have the power to impeach the president. Congress controls the President and other members of his Executive Branch.
For the executive
While it would seem that the branch with more powers would be the most powerful, it is not the case. The more powers a branch has, the more they are limited to only those powers. Congress is the most heavily enumerated out of all three branches, and as such they are very limited on what actions they can make. The Executive, on the other hand, is given significant leeway on how to act. The executive has a lot of implied powers, and that is one of the reasons that the president in particular was able to take a much more central role in american politics than originally intended. Congress however, is stuck doing only what is in their enumerated powers.
The president can make many decisions on his own, without needing approval from Congress. The president’s executive privilege allows him to keep information hidden from the public. He does not have to keep total transparency. This allows him to make decisions in secret, decisions that do not have to be approved by another branch. The president also has the ability to make executive orders, where the president can make decisions and enact laws without ratification from the legislative branch. Congress cannot change or repeal an executive order, only the following president can. One last power the president has is his position as Commander in Chief. This gives the president most of the control of the army. He can order the army and make decisions that Congress cannot change. These presidential powers that do not require Congress’ approval increase the power of the president.
While I would agree that the President having executive privilege does give him power in the sense that he does not have to tell the public information, I would be willing to argue that this power takes trust away from the public. The people always want to be in the know and feel like there is a connection between them and the government, similar to that stated in the Declaration of Independence, and executive privilege takes away from that connection. As well as for executive orders, they are good in a particular moment for a given situation, but they can also be undone at any given moment by another President to come. The only thing that would make an executive order permanent is if it were passed as a law, which can only happen through the approval of Congress. The President does have the power to control the army, but in a dire situation he can only send them to war for 60 days without Congress intervening, and if they do they can be sent home according to the War Powers Resolution. As well as this, only Congress can declare war.
For congress- Claim
Congress has the necessary and proper clause. McCullough v Maryland, Congress basically shut everyone down by saying banks were necessary and proper, even if they aren’t in the enumerated power list. Congress can at any point, pull out the necessary and proper clause, and get away with even the most bizarre things. Even with the enumerated powers that everyone has to follow, congress can still go around it
The President can bypass the War Powers Act of 1973 by using his/her inherent powers to send troops into combat without a formal declaration of war from congress. If Congress tries to cut the budget from the armed forces, the President can easily use his exposure to the public to discuss the issue and make Congress look bad thus discouraging them to do so. A constitutional scholar who retired last year after 40 years as an adviser to Congress even said "There's a long pattern of members going to court on War Powers cases...Ninety-five percent of the time, courts say, 'Thirty of you are saying the president violated the law, 30 others in an amicus brief are saying he didn't. We're not going to get involved,' " This proves that the War Powers Act is just a parchment barrier because it fails almost every time.
The President has executive privilege which gives him/her access to information that isn’t open to the public including Congress, this gives the president’s words more value than anyone in Congress. George W. Bush's Address to the Nation on the evening of the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks, the speech that he gave wouldn't have the same impact and would've been easily forgotten if it was done by someone in Congress.
For congress- claim
The president does have the power to make treaties, but he/she still needs ⅔ approval from congress. Woodrow Wilson made one of the most famous treaties in 1919, the Treaty of Versailles, This treaty was very important, as it ended WW1, and yet he still needed congress’s approval, without congress, WW1 could still have been going on today.
The Louisiana purchase, one of the most important treaties, was made possible only through congress. The president can make treaties, but not without congress’s help
The President is able to appoint heads of federal agencies and with that he can control through these leaders in his party how money is spent in this department and what rules are being made. The president has the enumerated power stated in the Constitution. Article 2, Section 2 states, “...when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices…”. This power to hire and appoint these leaders gives him leverage because of these peoples jobs are literally in his hand and if he wants to he can fire them without question.
Congress can has power over the bureaucracy to slow them down or stop them. Congress can cut funding to federal agencies and that agency will die. Also, Congress can impeach members of the agencies. Another thing, Congress has the power to override regulations made, by the bureaucracy, that they do not approve of, or if they feel like it has a purpose that gives an advantage to certain people. Lastly, Congress is in charge of approving agencies. That is why Congress has power to hurt the bureaucracy giving them more power than the President.
Congress is more powerful than the President because Congress has ways to turn the president's decision making around. The president can veto a bill but Congress can override the veto and the president cannot create a law unless you consider an executive order to be one but can easily be turned down by the next president. Another example would be the President is the final destination for a bill to become a law and he can choose to sign it or not. If he does not sign it though and congress really likes that bill, they can override the president's veto, in this scenario the president does not have much power. Lastly The president appoints cabinet members and he can do so fast but he has to wait for the senate approval. He cannot keep a cabinet member if the Senate does not approve.
While Congress can override some of the president’s decisions, it is difficult to do so. For Congress to override a presidential veto, ⅔ of both chambers have to vote for it. That is not as simple as it sounds. To get that many people to agree is pretty difficult.
Even though Congress can override a presidential veto, it does not happen very often. Over the course of American history, 111 out of 2579 vetoes have successfully been overridden by Congress. While the president’s appointments have to be approved by Congress, they still only have the option to ratify who the president appoints. Congress cannot approve anyone for a government job, unless the president believed in them enough to appoint them in the first place.