The Presidency


The Presidency

The powers of the President >>

They are the tasks, functions or duties he has to carry out – they are laid out in Article two of the Constitution.

>> Propose legislation – the constitution gives the president the power to propose legislation – he will do this at the annual State of the Union address – it is carried out live on television and the president is able to address a joint session of Congress. However, the president can propose legislation at any time – by for example, calling a press conference or making an announcement at a public event. Eg. In the first two years of his first term Bush proposed legislation on education reform, tax cuts and anti- terrorist measures.

>> Submit the annual budget – this is really just another piece of legislation but can be the most important – The Office of Management and Budget (part of EXOP) draws up the annual federal budget for the president – the president then submits the budget to Congress. This submission will be followed by bargaining between Congress and the president – especially during times of divided government.

>> Sign legislation – once bills have made it through Congress – they come to the president to be made into law – he will sign bills if he wants to take some credit for them. However, he can also refuse to sign the bill – either with regular veto or pocket veto – for bills he really doesn’t agree on.

>> Veto legislation – the president does have the option to veto legislation – the regular veto is a much-used weapon – even the threat of veto can be an important tool when bargaining with Congress. Congress may try and override the veto – needing a two-thirds majority – this is not usually successful. They can also pocket-veto legislation – this can only be used at the end of a Congressional year – the bill is simply put to one side and left to die – it will have to restart the process again in the next session.

>> Act as chief executive – the opening lines of Article two of the constitution give the president all executive power – he is in charge of running the executive branch of the federal government. This is a huge job and much of the day-to-day running is delegated to those who run the federal government’s departments and agencies – modern presidents have needed their own bureaucracy – EXOP to help them with this work.

>> Nominate all executive branch officials – this is the power to nominate all officials to the executive branch of government – an incoming president, Eg. Obama in 2009 has a lot of different posts to fill. The most important of these are the 15 executive departments, Eg. the Treasury, State and Agriculture. There are also lower-level officials in all of these departments, ambassadors, agency heads and members of the regulatory commissions. The Senate must


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