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Unit IV: Institutions Ch. 14: The Presidency

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1 Unit IV: Institutions Ch. 14: The Presidency

2 Non-constitutional Roles:
A. Head of Political Party B. Chief Economist Selects the party’s chairman of the national committee and VP nominee Political patronage (appoints loyal party members to federal positions) Responsible for the overall health of the economy Proposes the federal budget (though Congress can alter it)

3 I. Presidents vs. Prime Ministers
How are they chosen? How do they work within their respective legislatures? Relationship Removal Policy Tues. 1/11/11

4 II. Evolution of the Presidency: Constitutional Convention
A. Alternatives B. Concerns of Founders: Proposals for the new “executive” “Fetus of monarchy” “Make him too weak: the legislature will usurp his powers. Make him too strong: he will usurp the legislature.” 1/12/11

5 C. Election of the President
Congress Some wanted direct election. Problems: Compromise: The Electoral College Term of office?

6 III. The First Presidents
A. Washington-Monroe, B. Andrew Jackson, Background? Precedent? Presidential appointments: rule of fitness Expansion of presidential power: Spoils system vetoes

7 C. The Reemergence of Congress, 1837-1932
With the end of Jackson’s 2nd term, Congress quickly reestablished its power There were some brief flashes of presidential power: Role of Congress as initiating legislation Strong personality and/or national crisis 1/11/12

8 D. Emergence of the Presidency.
FDR’s New Deal WWII Cold War In the 1970s, Congress finally reasserted itself. Reagan restored the power and prestige of the presidency. Bush 43 Obama?

9 E. Growth of Presidential Power
Originally Congress, not President, was to be dominant Non-constitutional sources of presidential power Unity of office: Presidential character and personality: Growing complexity of society: Congressional delegation of authority to the executive branch: “electronic throne” US during Cold War Fri. 1/14/11

10 Three rules of thumb to maximize presidential power and effectiveness:
“move it or lose it” –popularity declines over time. “avoid details” “cabinets don’t get much done; people do”


12 IV: Overview and Powers of the Presidency
A. Qualifications: B. Terms of Office:

13 C. Compensation D. Succession
If office of presidency is vacant due to death, resignation, or impeachment and removal, Presidential Succession Act of 1947. 25th Amendment :

14 V. The Office of the President
White House Office/White House Staff Immediate staff of President: Rule of propinquity: Organization: two general forms Circular method Pyramid method Analysis: Wed. 1/19/11 p. 375

15 B. The Executive Office of the President
Appointments to the White House Office (e.g. Chief of Staff) do not require Senate consent. executive privilege. Presidents typically seek people who will be loyal-fewer divided loyalties as compared to Cabinet positions B. The Executive Office of the President Appointments to the EOP require Senate consent. OMB: NSC: CEA: Council on Environmental Quality: US Trade Rep OPM: 1/21

16 EOP Organization

17 VI. The Cabinet Definition:
Each of these is appointed by the President with Senate consent In our system: Divided loyalties of Cabinet officials: are the Secretaries most loyal to President? To the Congress (which funds departments)? To client groups (which depend on departments)? To employees of departments (Secretaries deal with daily)? President’s goals often conflict with Cabinet department’s goals

18 The Cabinet E. Presidential influence over the Cabinet: limited
F. Factors affecting selection of Cabinet Secretaries:


20 VII. Who Gets Appointed to Federal Positions?
The number of appointments is large, but the percentage of appointed positions in the federal government is small (less than 10%) Presidents often do not know their appointees well and depend heavily on staff recommendations. Background of appointees: Fri. 1/21

21 VIII. The Power to Persuade
Power of the office of the presidency Powers are not as clearly defined in the Constitution as are Congresses’. In crisis, power grows, but in “normal” times, subject to checks and balances. Checks that weaken the President: Constitutional checks: Informal checks:

22 IX. Congress vs. the President
Sources of Conflict: Separation of powers and checks and balances Each represents different constituencies Different times of election Partisanship Unity of office vs. diffusion of power “two presidencies” thesis:

23 Sources of influence on Congress:
Use of media. Media focuses more on a single person than on 535 people. President can easily go directly to the people with his case. “Presidential power is the power to persuade” –Neustaedt “Mandate from the people” Patronage: Chief of party role: Personal lobbying of members of Congress. Veto, or its threat. national emergency.




27 Chief legislator: (Constitutional Role)
Powers: Proposes legislation Signs laws. Sometimes uses “signing statements” Reagan: 75 issued. Bush 43: 161 issued. Obama: 20 (Dec. 31, 2011). Clinton issued more than any other president, but how Bush 43 used them remains controversial. Vetoes legislation (no line item veto as ruled by SCOTUS [Clinton v. NY, 1998] – separation of powers) Calls special sessions of Congress Makes a State of the Union Address to Congress (Jan. 24, 2012) Checks: Congress can override veto with 2/3 majority in both houses Wed. 1/18/12

28 X. The Power to Say No: The Imperial Presidency
Charges by Congress that presidential power has grown excessive. Coined by Arthur Schlesinger (1973). Response: economic growth necessitated a strong executive Congress itself delegated strong powers to the executive branch, especially in the area of foreign policy Areas of abuse cited by Schlesinger: War Powers: Emergency powers: Use of executive agreements rather than treaties. The former does not require Senate ratification as does the latter. Executive privilege Right of President to not divulge conversations between himself and his advisers. In U.S. v. Nixon (1974), the Supreme Court stated that Presidents are in fact entitled to executive privilege most of the time, but not in criminal cases.

29 Impoundment. Define: Without a line item veto, Presidents must either sign an entire bill or veto it. Nixon impounded funds for policy objectives. Passage of Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974: Signing Statements Reagan: 75 issued. Bush 43: 161 issued. Obama: 20 (Dec. 31, 2011). Clinton issued more than any other president, but how Bush 43 used them remains controversial. Executive Orders

30 Constitutional vs. Rhetorical Signing Statements
In a "constitutional" signing statement, a president will object to a provision of law by directly citing a provision of the Constitution, or by citing a Supreme Court ruling interpreting the Constitution, or by bare assertion (without citation to authority) that the law offends the Constitution or invades the power of the Executive. A president may announce his intent to disregard the law due to claimed constitutional infirmity, or he may announce that he will interpret the law to avoid the constitutional difficulties that he perceives. By contrast, a "rhetorical" signing statement is ceremonial in nature, and usually praises the wisdom of the law or the lawmakers, or notes the importance of the issue addressed by the law. Or a rhetorical statement may criticize Congress or the enactment without challenging Congress's authority to act. 34% of President Reagan's signing statements raised constitutional objections

47% of President George H. W. Bush's signing statements raised constitutional objections

18% of President Clinton's signing statements raised constitutional objections

78% of President George W. Bush's signing statements raised constitutional objections


32 Other Constitutional Roles- Chief Executive:
Powers: “take care” clause of Article II requires that the president enforces laws, treaties, and court decisions: Impoundment Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus Electronic eavesdropping by Bush 43 administration FISA Appoints officials, and can fire them Recess appointments executive orders (“Stroke of the pen. Law of the Land. Kinda cool." 
Paul Begala, former Clinton advisor, The New York Times, July 5, 1998) Checks: Congress passes the laws; has “power of the purse” Senate can reject appointments and treaties Impeachment (House) and removal (Senate) Supreme Court can strike down executive orders

33 Commander-in-Chief D. Chief Diplomat Power: head of the armed forces
Powers: Sets foreign policy Appoints and receives ambassadors Negotiates treaties and executive agreements Negotiates “congressional-executive agreements” diplomatic recognition to foreign governments Checks: Congress appropriates Senate can reject ambassadors and treaties Power: head of the armed forces Checks: Congress appropriates Congress declares war War Powers Act of 1973

34 ceremonial head of our nation
Chief of State F. Chief Jurist ceremonial head of our nation Powers: Appoints federal judges Issues pardons and amnesty Checks: Senate can reject judicial appointments Senators can place “holds” and/or filibuster nominations

35 XI. President’s Program
XI. President’s Program. Congress Responds to the Imperial Presidency: reassertion of congressional authority in mid-1970s. War Powers: passage of the War Powers Resolution of 1973. President can send troops overseas to an area where hostilities are imminent without a congressional war declaration only under these circumstances: Must notify Congress within ___________ Must withdraw the troops after __ days (can be extended by __ days if safety of troops requires it) Must consult with Congress if troops are to engage in combat. Congress can pass a resolution, not subject to presidential veto, to withdraw troops. Criticisms: Unconstitutional: Ties the hands of President Makes it easy on the enemy (wait it out) Thurs. 1/19/12

36 Congress and the CIA Emergency Powers: National Emergencies Act of 1976 President must inform Congress in advance of powers to be used as emergencies State of emergency automatically ends after 6 months President can declare another 6 months, subject to Congressional review Past CIA abuses led to investigations and oversight committees in 1970s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (1978):

37 Impoundment Confirmation of presidential appointees
Passage of Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974: If President impounds funds temporarily (deferral), either house can override. If president impounds funds permanently (rescission), the act is automatically voided unless both house of Congress approve within 45 days. Establishment of CBO as a check on OMB. Congress given 3 additional months to consider the President’s proposed budget. Establishment of Budget Committees in each house. Senatorial courtesy Controversy over recess appointments policy preferences over “rule of fitness” Long confirmation delays (holds)

38 Legislative Veto Define: In INS v. Chada (1983) the Supreme Court declared the legislative veto to be an unconstitutional violation of separation of powers. 1996: Congressional Review Act:

39 Foreign affairs. appropriations Iran-Contra hearings 1980s Gulf War (1991) Kosovo (1999) war on terror Patriot Act

40 XII. Presidential Transition: The Vice President
Only two constitutional duties: Preside over the Senate Traditionally, the job is a dull, do-nothing one. VP is selected to balance the ticket. Importance of the office: 9 of 44 Presidents have not finished their terms of office. VP can become Acting President if President becomes disabled. (25th Amendment). More recently, Presidents have made more effective use of the VP, especially Bush-Cheney, but also Reagan, Clinton) Can be a steppingstone to the presidency

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