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How does the relationship between the President and Congress work?

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A PowerPoint that examines the President's relationship with Congress

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How does the relationship between the President and Congress work?

  1. 1. Constitutional Basis of Bureaucratic Authority • Congress has the constitutional authority to create agencies, fund them and charge them with administrative responsibilities. • Article 1 Section 8
  2. 2. Article 1, Section 8 “The Congress shall have the Power To…provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States…To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”
  3. 3. Constitutional Basis of Bureaucratic Authority • The President has the authority to direct agencies and select their leaders (although Congress can impeach and convict these leaders in cases of maladministration). • Article 2, Section 1 • Article 2, Section 2 • Article 2, Section 4
  4. 4. Article 2, Section 1 “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”
  5. 5. Article 2, Section 2 “The President…shall nominate, and by and with Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…other public Ministers and Consuls…and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law, but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointments of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone…or in the Heads of Departments.”
  6. 6. Article 2, Section 4 “All civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanours.”
  7. 7. Constitutional Basis of Bureaucratic Authority • The judiciary has the authority to adjudicate claims against agencies. • Article 3, Section 2
  8. 8. Article 3, Section 2 “The judicial Power shall extent to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States…or which shall be made, under their Authority; - to all Cases affecting…other public Ministers; - to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party…In all Cases affecting…other public Ministers…the Supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.”
  9. 9. Enquiry Question: How does the relationship between the President and Congress work?
  10. 10. Learning Objectives • To assess the president’s power of persuasion • To examine the President’s relationship with Congress • To complete a short answer exam question: How does the presidency try to win support in Congress?
  11. 11. President & Congress ZigZag Guide The US President and Congress (p44-46) The Presidential Veto – Lincoln to Obama (p46-47) Presidential Tactics (p47-49) Congressional Tactics (p49-51) Obama Case Study (p51-54) YOUR TASK: Create a political analysis spotlight on Obama’s relationship with Congress for a CNN News Special. You will need: - 1 x video camera person - 1 x script - 1 x main presenter - 1 x political analyst - 1 x congressional representative - 1 x white house representative
  12. 12. The President and Congress • Since the writing of the Constitution, Congress has theoretically enjoyed superiority within the US Government. • The balance of power between the President and Congress has moved backwards and forwards, depending on the circumstances and the personalities involved. • However, it can be seen that Congress has the advantage (in theory)…
  13. 13. Congressional Advantage Nature of checks and balances • Role is to check the executive • Independence from the executive • Power of the purse • Approve/refuse appointments • Override presidential veto How can Congress be seen to have the upper hand? Remember that ALL legislative power is invested in Congress (Article 1)
  14. 14. Presidential-Congressional Relationship Examining the history of the relationship Key Pattern: Peace + prosperity = dominant Congress War + danger = dominant President • For much of early American history, the president was relatively powerless, and though not an unimportant figure, was secondary to Congress. From 1820 to 1860, as slavery, states rights, and enormous expansion threatened to tear the country apart, members of the Senate were the ones who kept the nation together with a series of compromises. Executive branch powers increased considerably during the Civil War, as President Abraham Lincoln commanded new resources and sought new authority to keep the union together. • After the Civil War, the relationship continued to change, and some great clashes and momentous events have taken place marking the legislative-executive relationship.
  15. 15. In 1868, Congress passed a measure to prevent the president from removing cabinet officers without its approval. President Andrew Johnson believed that this was unconstitutional, defied the restriction, was impeached, and escaped removal by a single vote. (The president's position was later upheld by the Supreme Court.) 1920, the Senate defeated President Woodrow Wilson's bid to have the United States join the League of Nations. The struggle between Wilson and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (R-Mass., 1893-1924) marked a major shift in the centre of gravity to the legislative branch. In In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt, boosted by Democratic gains in Congress, launched the New Deal to combat the Great Depression. This effort inaugurated a long period of executive branch activism and expansion that continued through World War II and the Cold War of the mid- 20th century. In 1994, the overwhelming election of a Republican House and Senate marked a resurgent Congress whose struggle with the executive branch culminated in the 1999 impeachment of President Bill Clinton. In 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and the launch of a war against terror inaugurated another period of executive activism at home and abroad.
  16. 16. Is the president a better representative of the people than Congress is? Who should take the lead in domestic policymaking?
  17. 17. How can the president take the lead in Domestic policy? Pause For Thought • Proposals • Bully pulpit • Party leadership & loyalty • Veto threats (more Weds.) • Budgeting • Executing the laws with discretion (more on that later)
  18. 18. The Power to Propose Spotlight on… “He 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” (Article 2: Section 3).
  19. 19. Budgeting Spotlight on… President Obama recently released his 2015 budget proposal. And budgets are about priorities: What we’re going to spend money on, and how we’re going to raise the money that we’re spending. These pictures tell the story of the priorities in the president’s budget.
  20. 20. This chart shows how President Obama proposes allocating all $3.97 trillion in federal spending in fiscal year 2015. This includes every kind of federal spending, from funding for discretionary programs like job training and environmental protection to mandatory programs like Social Security and Medicare as well as interest payments on the federal debt.
  21. 21. This is how President Obama proposes allocating $1.16 trillion in discretionary spending in fiscal year 2015. Discretionary spending is the part of the federal budget that Congress determines annually during the federal budget process, and it accounts for 29 percent of total spending in the president's proposed 2015 budget. It does not include earned-benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare.
  22. 22. This is how discretionary spending, above, fits into the overall federal budget. As you can see, discretionary spending is less than a third of all federal spending. Sixty-five percent of spending, or $2.6 trillion, falls under the mandatory spending category. Mandatory spending refers to spending for earned- benefit programs like Medicare and Social Security. The remaining 6 percent of the federal budget, or $252 billion, will go towards interest on the federal debt.
  23. 23. This chart shows how President Obama plans to spend $2.6 trillion in mandatory spending in fiscal year 2015. Mandatory spending includes programs like Social Security and Medicare, which are often called earned-benefit programs. Lawmakers do not choose the exact amount of money spent on these programs, because it depends on how many people qualify for benefits.
  24. 24. How does Congress take the lead in Domestic policy? Pause For Thought • Writing the laws • Deciding which bills to act upon • Overseeing the bureaucracy (more on that later)
  25. 25. Legislative Power Spotlight on… “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives (I:1)…. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States …To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” (Article 1; Section 8)
  26. 26. What affects the president’s ability to successfully lead Congress? Pause For Thought • Presidential popularity? • Size of electoral victory? • Skill? – Personal charisma – Strategic thinking • Structures in Congress? • Size and strength of party coalitions?
  27. 27. Approval By Numbers: How Obama Compares To Past Presidents TPM compiled Gallup's monthly presidential approval ratings for every President's first two years in office, dating back to Dwight Eisenhower. Each plot point represents the poll taken closest to the end of given month, beginning at the time of inauguration
  28. 28. Doesthesizeoftheelectionvictoryinfluencethe successofapresident’srelationshipwithCongress?
  29. 29. Rarely does a Congressional Quarterly study attract public attention like yesterday's annual report on “Presidential Success” in Congress. But this year’s report offered a stunning finding: In 2009, President Obama racked up the highest presidential support score in Congress since CQ inaugurated its study in 1953. In the Senate, legislators agreed with the president 96.7 percent of the time Obama took a position; in the House, 94.4 percent of the time. President Obama’s Partisan Support in Congress
  30. 30. Another way of seeing the same thing is to look Congressional Quarterly's "Party Unity" score, which measures the number of "in which a majority of Democrats opposed a majority of Republicans." In 2011 — so, in this Congress — the House set a new record on that measure, with 75.8 percent of its roll call votes pitting Democrats and Republicans against each other: President Obama’s Partisan Support in Congress
  31. 31. Thinking Points What should the relationship between the president and Congress look like? • To what degree should Congress look to the president for policy leadership? • To what degree should partisanship govern the president’s relationship with Congress? • Under what circumstances do you think the president and Congress should compromise?
  32. 32. President & Congress ZigZag Guide The US President and Congress (p44-46) The Presidential Veto – Lincoln to Obama (p46-47) Presidential Tactics (p47-49) Congressional Tactics (p49-51) Obama Case Study (p51-54) YOUR TASK: Create a political analysis spotlight on Obama’s relationship with Congress for a CNN News Special. You will need: - 1 x video camera person - 1 x script - 1 x main presenter - 1 x political analysts - 1 x congressional representative - 1 x white house representative
  33. 33. Homework Reading and Note Taking The President and Foreign Policy p275-277 Theories of presidential power, p277-280

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