The power of the president is limited to persuasion 30 marker

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The power of the president is limited to persuasion 30 marker

  1. 1. Discuss
  2. 2. “I sit here all day trying to persuade people to do the things they ought to have sense enough to do without my persuading them...that‟s all the power s of the president amount to”
  3. 3.  The Vice President – as presiding officer of the Senate, he has a foothold in Congress ( All of the last 6 VPs have formerly been members of Congress too).  Cabinet officers – these work in their own policy related area  Party leaders in Congress – House Speaker, Majority and Minority leaders in both houses, whips, committee chairs
  4. 4.  Make phone calls to selected members of congress  Offer help with legislation that benefit‟s members constituents  Offer help with federal/executive appointments of interest to constituents  Invite members to a meeting/photo op at White House  Go to Capitol Hill to address a selected group of members  Offer to campaign for members of his own party
  5. 5.  President can go on national television to a appeal directly to the people.  This is what President Johnson called „putting Congress‟s feet to the fire‟- Civil Rights Act 1964
  6. 6.      The President is dependent on Congress for all legislation and money Powerful committee chairs, Speaker of the House can thwart a President‟s agenda if it conflicts with their won Separation of powers means congressmen have their own mandate , and their willingness to support the president is more conditional than in a parliamentary system...”will it aid my own re-election?”. Even a Congress controlled by his own party may ignore – e.g. The Bush second term - or defeat – e.g. the Clinton health care reforms – the president‟s agenda Consequently the president needs to persuade members of Congress that support for him is in their interests
  7. 7.      Mandate of the President may be such – e.g. President Johnson in 1964 – that the president does not need to persuade Congress to adopt his agenda (Great Society) Ability of the President to circumvent Congress through executive orders, executive agreements and recess appointments (Clinton made a recess appointment of Bill Lann Lee as Assistant Attorney General for civil rights, when it became clear that Lee's strong support of affirmative action would lead to Senate opposition). Use of signing statements to implement legislation as the president directs, sometimes in direct contravention of Congress‟ expressed intent If the persuasion fails, the president can veto legislation In several aspects of foreign policy, the presidency can act unilaterally (Nixon – Cambodia)
  8. 8.  However! Congress CAN override a presidents veto...even if it is controlled by the same party!  2 of Carter‟s vetoes were overriden by a Democrat controlled Congress. In 1980 Congress passed a bill repealing a $4.62 oil import fee.  Later that year Congress also overrode his veto of a Veteran‟s healthcare bill.

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