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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The federal government does not give states the money to build schools. The money gained from the taxation of the states is very little and makes it hard for the states to supply the people with necessary wants such as education. The anti-federalists do not want to cut the taxes so people get more money, the anti-federalists want taxation to happen in the states so each state can be funded. The premise of a republic and a democracy is to provide to the people's needs to a limit. If the people did not think for themselves, then the government will take over and the people would be subjects like in Britain prior to the Revolution. If the people thought that insanely high taxes was only helping, then the people would not have rebelled. You talk about national debt, but refuse to acknowledge the fact that modern U.S., under the Constitution, is tremendously in debt.
If the standing army was not to go against itself, then why did the Civil War happen. The North and the South separated and fought each other with full-time, properly trained troops. The standing army is used to enforce laws and destroy rebellions. If the federal government decides to pass a law that suppresses the people, then the state governments and the people have no choice but to follow the laws. For example, in the Battle of Blair Mountain, the miners rebelled because of the inhuman conditions that they worked in. The Federal Government threatened to destroy the rebellion with the standing army;therefore, the rebellion was blown out of proportion and was disbanded. No law was passed helping the miners and the lives lost were lost in history. If standing armies were fully used to protect the country, then it would be ok, but because standing armies have other roles that harm the states, it should not be accepted.
The Federal Government being able to tax the people perpetually puts state governments in no-man's land. State governments power to tax has decreased tremendously making it very difficult for the State to properly fund its militia. Along with this, state governments are also not allowed to “emit paper money--lay any duties, or imposts, on imports, or exports…”(Brutus 1). State governments have to rely on direct taxation which generates very little money. “Without money they cannot be supported, and they must dwindle away, and, as before observed, their powers absorbed in that of a general government”(Brutus 1).
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