The Presidency Flashcards

  • Created by: bananaaar
  • Created on: 08-05-15 20:54
Federal bureaucracy?
The unelected, administrative part of the executive branch made up of departments, agencies and commissions that carry out policy on a day-to-day basis. It implements legislation and its function is to serve the president. Needs congress funding.
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Spoils system?
A system by which government jobs are awarded to political supporters and friends rather than on merit.
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Iron Triangle?
A strong relationship between pressure groups, congressional committees and federal agencies in a given policy area for the mutual benefit of the three parties.
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Going native?
A term used to refer to the situation in which political appointees cease to be advocates for the politician who appointed them (i.e. the president), and instead become advocates for the bureaucracies and special interests with that policy area.
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The cabinet?
The advisory group selected by the president to aid him in making decisions and coordinating the work of the federal government, membership of which is determined by both tradition and presidential discretion.
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Executive Office of the President (EXOP)?
The top staff agencies in the white house that give the president help and advice in carrying out the major duties of his office. Its primary functions are coordination, advice giving and personnel management.
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Imperial Presidency?
A term used to refer to a presidency characterised by the misuse and abuse of power. In particular it referred to excessive secrecy, especially in foreign policy, and high handedness in dealing with Congress.
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Powers of president: propose legislation?
Obama proposed his obamacare legislation in 2008.
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Powers of president: submit annual budget to congress?
This must then be approved by congress before it becomes law, often involving lengthy negotiations.
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Powers of president Sign legislation?
Once legislation has been approved, it reaches the president for signing. The president may hold an elaborate ceremony for legislation he wishes to take credit, For example Bush’s ‘no child left behind’, and Obama’s ‘Obamacare’.
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Powers of President: Veto legislation
The president can use a regular or a pocket veto. For example Bush vetoed 12 Bills, and 4 were overridden by congress, giving him the 3rd lowest success rate for vetoing legislation. Obama used 2 vetoes in his first term, none being overridden.
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Powers of president, act as chief executive?
The president is in charge of running the executive branch with the help of the EXOP.
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Powers of president, nominate executive branch officials?
The most important nominations are those of the 15 heads of department. For example Obama nominated John Kerry as Secretary of State, Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defence and Jacob Lew to be Secretary of the Treasury.
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Powers of president, nominate federal judges?
During Obama’s first term, he appointed Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
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Powers of president, act as commander in chief?
The role of commander in chief was important from WW2 until the Cold War, but after 1991 with no significant foreign policy engagement this declined. However it returned to its importance following 9/11 and the intervention in Iraq.
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Powers of president, negotiate treaties?
Obama negotiated the START treaty with Russia in 2010.
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Powers of president, pardon felons?
Obama pardoned Eugene Dyer in 2011 despite drug trafficking as he became remorseful and religious. Obama pardoned 17 people in his first term.
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functions of federal bureaucracy?
Execute laws, create rules on how the laws will be executed, and adjudicate. Disputes arise between parties subject to bureaucratic regulations. The federal bureaucracy adjudicates disputes.
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Where is cabinet stated in constitution?
The cabinet is not mentioned in the constitution. However article 2 states that the president may require the opinion of others. Therefore the cabinet is an advisory group to help with decision making.
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Pools of recruitment for cabinet?
Congress, state governor, big city mayors, academia.
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Congress pool of recruitment example?
However asking congress members to give up their seats can be unsuccessful. For example in 2008 House majority whip Jim Clyburn turned down Obama’s offer to be SOS. However John Kerry was from congress.
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State governor in cabinet?
2009 Janet Napolitano was appointed for Secretary of Homeland Security. Obama also appointed 2 ex-governors, Tom Vilsack and Gary Locke.
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Big city mayor in cabinet?
Obama appointed the former mayor of Dallas Ron Kirk as the US Trade Representative.
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Academia recruit for cabinet?
Obama appointed Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy in 2009. He was a physics professor at California University. When he departed in 2013, Ernest Moniz replaced him.
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What are cabinet members likely to be?
It is likely that cabinet members will be policy specialists, for example Arne Duncan was CEO of Chicago Public Schools and went on to be appointed as Education Secretary.
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Factors in a balanced cabinet?
Region, race, gender, age, political ideology.
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Region example?
n Obama’s initial cabinet, there was Hilda Solis from California, Janet Napolitano from Arizona, Arne Duncan from Illinois and Shawn Donovan from NYC.
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Race example?
Obama’s cabinet in 2009 had 6 ethnic minorities including Eric Holder, (Justice), Steven Chu (Energy) and Gary Locke (Commerce).
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Gender example?
Obama appointed Clinton as SOS. However she was replaced by John Kerry.
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Age example?
Average age of cabinet usually reflects the age of the president. For example the youngest cabinet was that of Kennedy (youngest ever president), with the average age of 47. However Obama’s average age is 55.
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Political ideology example?
Presidents want to have factions represented. For example in Obama’s second term, he appointed from the other party (Chuck Hagel). Obama has 3 R’s in his cabinet.
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How many cabinet meetings does Obama hold per year and what is addressed?
4. Issues addressed: 2009 - Economy 2010 - Economy, Iraq, Oil Spill, Energy Policy, START 2011 - Debt Ceiling, Negotiations, Economy 2012 - State of Union Address, Small business, Middle Class Tax Cut
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Functions of cabinet meetings for president?
Team spirit, appear consultative, information giving/gathering, debate policy, present 'big picture items', check upon legislation, push or congress action, opportunity to see cabinet members who he would otherwise not see.
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Example of Obama presenting big picture items?
Obama used cabinet meeting to talk about his State of Union Address initiative regarding small businesses.
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Example of cabinet meeting being used to push congressional action?
2007, Bush discussed the business remaining at the end of that years congressional session.
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Functions of cabinet meetings?
Get to know opportunities, opportunity to speak to others before/after meetings, resolve interdepartmental disputes, may catch president after meeting, gives cabinet officers increased standing as they have just heard from president.
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Example of cabinet meeting solving an interdepartmental dispute?
Ford’s secretary to the cabinet, Connor, remembers a cabinet meeting in which a dispute about affirmative action was aired.
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Cabinet councils?
The problem with full cabinet meetings for policy discussion is that most cabinet members are specialists. To overcome this problem most presidents have developed a series of policy-specific cabinet councils.
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1939 after the Brownlow Committee reported that the president needed more help. The increase in the size and scale of federal government following the ‘New Deal’ programme and the USA’s role as world power lead to the president needing more help
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National Security Council?
The NSC was established to help the president coordinate foreign and defence policy. The NSC would then act as an honest broker (impartial advisor) to present carefully argued options ready for presidential decision-making.
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Nixon and the NSC?
Nixon increased the role of the NSC when he appointed Henry Kissinger who became a policy maker rather than broker. However subsequent NSC’s have reverted to the more traditional role.
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Ways around congress?
Executive agreements, recess appointments, white house staff, executive orders, signing statements.
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Recess appointments?
Recess appointments are authorised by Article 2 of the constitution. The president has the power to make up all vacancies that occur during the recess of the senate by granting commissions that expire at the end of their next session.
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Executive agreements?
They are politically but not legally binding. For example in early 2015, Obama made an executive agreement with France to compel nations to cut fossil fuel emissions.
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Recess appointment example under Obama?
As of June 2013, Obama made made 1 recess appointment to the legislative branch for the position of public printer and 31 recess appointments to the executive branch, but none to the judiciary.
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Recess appointment under bush?
In 2005, Bush appointed John Bolton as his nomination was filibustered. However he resigned in 2006 as t was unlikely he would be approved by the senate.
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White house staff?
White House staff do not have to be confirmed. For example former chief of staff Jack Lou was nominated by Obama without nomination or ratification. The current chief of staff is Dennis McDonough.
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Executive orders?
Orders issued by the president to the federal bureaucracy on how to carry out certain laws. They don't necessarily circumnavigate congress but they make him able to create his own policy.
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Example of executive order?
2001 Bush used an executive order to create the department of Homeland Security. In 2010 Obama used one to ban certain types of abortion.
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Signing statements?
Written comment made by the president at the time of signing legislation. More controversial statements are when the president claims that part of the legislation is unconstitutional and so ignore it or implement only part of it.
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Signing statement example?
Obama did this when signing the US and Israel Strategic Partnership Act 2014.
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Presidential persuasion through people?
Can use VP, Use members of office of legislation affairs, cabinet officers, party leadership in congress.
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Using VP for persuasion?
All of the last 6 VP’s have been former House members, rising to minority whips. Also as president of the senate, the VP has a foothold in Congress.
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Office of legislation affairs staff?
They are full-time lobbyists for the president. They meet with Congress as well as with staff.
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Using cabinet officers for persuasion?
Cabinet Officers can be deployed to talk with members of congress in their own policy areas. George W Bush used Education Secretary Rod Paige to sell his education reform in 2001. The following year SOS Collin Powell helped to persuade congress to su
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Party leadership in congress persuasion?
Bush withdrew his support from R senate leader Trent Lott following racial remarks about racial policy. Bush did not want to reduce chances of his policy agenda being passed due to Lott’s remarks. Was forced to resign.
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Presidential perks?
Personal phone call, help with legislation, state of union address, tevevised session, addressed house etc.
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Example of phone call?
993 Clinton made a call to D house member Marjorie Marolies-Mezvinsky. She cast a crucial vote to ensure the passage of his budget by 218 votes to 216.
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What is a bully pulpit?
use of the president’s prestige to advocate for a particular agenda or idea by appealing to the American people. For example, following the Sandy Hook shootings, Obama tried to bully pulpit the public to back gun restrictions.
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Threat of a veto?
In the 2013 State of Union Address Obama threatened to veto the Healthcare Reform Repeal Bill to make congress think twice about concentrating on a piece of legislation so unpopular with the president.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Spoils system?


A system by which government jobs are awarded to political supporters and friends rather than on merit.

Card 3


Iron Triangle?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Going native?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


The cabinet?


Preview of the front of card 5
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