chapter 4 the presidency

the creation of the presidency

  • the founding fathers created a president who would be both head of state and head of the government
  • the US president is not just another politician
  • they are the personification of the nation
  • the arrival of the president at a formal public function is greeted by a military band playing hail to the chief
  • the white house is more imposing than 10 downing street
  • the founding fathers created a singular executive
  • article II- the executive power shall be vested in a president of the United States of America
  • the president's cabinet is not, and cannot be, a decision making body
  • the founding fathers created an indirectly elected president
  • the president was to be chosen by the electors in an electoral college
  • this system has been adapted into a direct election
  • the mechanism of the electoral college still survives
  • the founding fathers created a limited president
  • the founding fathers feared tyranny
  • they hedged the president with a host of checks and balances

the formal powers of the president

propose legislation

  • article II- the president shall from time to time give to the congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient
  • gives the president the power to propose legislation to congress, which he may do through the annual state of the union address
  • the president can propose legislation at any time by calling a press conference or making an announcement at a public event
  • at the start of his second term in 2013, President Obama used his state of the union address to promote his policy proposals on job creation, deficit reduction, immigration reform, gun control and increasing the federal minimum wage

submit the annual budget

  • the office of management and budget draws up the annual federal budget for the president
  • the OMB is part of the president's own bureaucracy- EXOP
  • president submits the budget to congress
  • followed by a lengthy bargaining process between the president and congress

sign legislation

  • once bills have been passed through a lengthy and complicated legislative process in Congress, they land on the president's desk
  • has a number of options
  • most likely- signing the bill into law
  • will do this for bills for which they want to take credit
  • elaborate bill signing ceremonies are often held attended by house and senate members who have been particularly supportive, relevant members of the administration and interested parties who will be affected by the new legislation
  • at the bill signing ceremony at the white house for the patient protection and affordable care act in march 2010, president obama invited the democratic party leadership in congress, the widow of the late senator Edward Kennedy who had made healthcare reform one of his life's ambitions and 11 year old Marcela Owens of Seattle who became an advocate for reform after his mother died without health insurance

veto legislation

  • the regular veto is a much used presidential weapon
  • presidents have used just over 1500…

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