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Where Does Congress Power Come From? Congress gets all of its power from Article I of the U.S. Constitution Congress gets all of its power from Article.

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Presentation on theme: "Where Does Congress Power Come From? Congress gets all of its power from Article I of the U.S. Constitution Congress gets all of its power from Article."— Presentation transcript:

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3 Where Does Congress Power Come From? Congress gets all of its power from Article I of the U.S. Constitution Congress gets all of its power from Article I of the U.S. Constitution

4 Powers of Congress Congress has 3 kinds of power: Congress has 3 kinds of power: Expressed – directly written in the Constitution Expressed – directly written in the Constitution Implied – reasonably assumed based on the expressed powers Implied – reasonably assumed based on the expressed powers Inherent – nowhere in the Constitution, but always held by national governments Inherent – nowhere in the Constitution, but always held by national governments

5 Interpreting the Constitution How much power Congress has depends on how we interpret the Constitution How much power Congress has depends on how we interpret the Constitution There are two major schools of thought on how much power Congress should have There are two major schools of thought on how much power Congress should have

6 Interpreting the Constitution Strict Constructionist (originalist)– believe that Congress should only have the expressed powers and no more Strict Constructionist (originalist)– believe that Congress should only have the expressed powers and no more Support very limited government Support very limited government Believe that individual liberty is most important Believe that individual liberty is most important First SC was Thomas Jefferson First SC was Thomas Jefferson

7 Interpreting the Constitution Liberal Constructionist (living constitution) – believed that we should interpret the Constitution loosely, so that Congress could have more power Liberal Constructionist (living constitution) – believed that we should interpret the Constitution loosely, so that Congress could have more power Support an active government Support an active government Believe that governmental effectiveness is most important Believe that governmental effectiveness is most important First LC was Alexander Hamilton First LC was Alexander Hamilton

8 Powers that Both Houses use Together Powers of Money and Commerce Powers of Money and Commerce Power to lay and collect taxes Power to lay and collect taxes Cannot tax for private benefit Cannot tax for private benefit Cannot tax exports Cannot tax exports Federal tax rates must be the same in all states Federal tax rates must be the same in all states

9 2 Kinds of Taxes Direct Tax – paid by the person it is imposed upon Direct Tax – paid by the person it is imposed upon Income tax, Property tax Income tax, Property tax

10 2 Kinds of Taxes Indirect tax – imposed on one person, but paid by another Indirect tax – imposed on one person, but paid by another Cigarette Tax, Gas Tax Cigarette Tax, Gas Tax

11 Powers that Both Houses use Together Powers of Money and Commerce Powers of Money and Commerce Power to borrow money on the credit of the United States Power to borrow money on the credit of the United States Deficit – money spent exceeding tax revenue, must be borrowed this year to pay our bills ($172 billion in 2007) Deficit – money spent exceeding tax revenue, must be borrowed this year to pay our bills ($172 billion in 2007) Borrowed by selling bonds Borrowed by selling bonds

12 Powers that Both Houses use Together Powers of Money and Commerce Powers of Money and Commerce Power to borrow money on the credit of the United States Power to borrow money on the credit of the United States Debt – total of all deficits yet to be paid back, plus interest owed (over $9 Trillion) Debt – total of all deficits yet to be paid back, plus interest owed (over $9 Trillion)

13 Powers that Both Houses use Together Powers of Money and Commerce Powers of Money and Commerce Power to regulate commerce... among the several states Power to regulate commerce... among the several states Power is often extended to do seemingly unrelated implied powers Power is often extended to do seemingly unrelated implied powers Build interstate highways Build interstate highways Ban racial discrimination Ban racial discrimination

14 Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824 New York had given Robert Fulton exclusive rights to operate a steamboat on the Hudson River New York had given Robert Fulton exclusive rights to operate a steamboat on the Hudson River Fulton gave Ogden a permit to operate the steamboat for him Fulton gave Ogden a permit to operate the steamboat for him Gibbons had a license from the U.S. government to operate a steamboat in the same area Gibbons had a license from the U.S. government to operate a steamboat in the same area

15 What are the Constitutional Issues? Whose permit is supreme? Whose permit is supreme? What does commerce mean? What does commerce mean?

16 Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824 The court decides to interpret commerce very broadly The court decides to interpret commerce very broadly Commerce means virtually all commercial interactions Commerce means virtually all commercial interactions Thus, Congress can regulate just about anything Thus, Congress can regulate just about anything

17 Powers that Both Houses use Together Powers of Money and Commerce Powers of Money and Commerce Power to coin money and regulate the value thereof Power to coin money and regulate the value thereof Power to establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies Power to establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies Bankruptcy – person declared incapable of repaying debt, debts are cleared Bankruptcy – person declared incapable of repaying debt, debts are cleared

18 Expressed Powers: Foreign Relations Congress has the power to declare war Congress has the power to declare war However, they have abdicated the power to wage war to the president However, they have abdicated the power to wage war to the president

19 How Congress Lost This Power Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, allowing the Pres. to use troops without Congress permission Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, allowing the Pres. to use troops without Congress permission Tried to take power back with War Powers Resolution (1973) Tried to take power back with War Powers Resolution (1973)

20 Why Would Congress Do This? Congress is a collection of cowards – most dont want to accept responsibility for mistakes Congress is a collection of cowards – most dont want to accept responsibility for mistakes

21 Other Expressed Powers Naturalization – setting the rules to become a citizen Naturalization – setting the rules to become a citizen Postal Power – Congress sets up the Post Office Postal Power – Congress sets up the Post Office Copyrights and Patents Copyrights and Patents Weights and Measures – making sure they mean the same thing nationwide Weights and Measures – making sure they mean the same thing nationwide

22 Other Expressed Powers Power over territories – Congress controls territories, and decides whether they become states or not Power over territories – Congress controls territories, and decides whether they become states or not Eminent Domain – Congress can take private property for public use Eminent Domain – Congress can take private property for public use Judicial Power – Congress sets up the court system Judicial Power – Congress sets up the court system

23 Implied Powers Necessary and Proper Clause – Where the implied powers come from Necessary and Proper Clause – Where the implied powers come from Tells Congress they can make any laws necessary and proper for carrying out their expressed powers Tells Congress they can make any laws necessary and proper for carrying out their expressed powers

24 McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) First case that tested the Necessary and Proper Clause First case that tested the Necessary and Proper Clause Congress created a national bank, and Maryland hated it Congress created a national bank, and Maryland hated it Maryland placed a tax on all national bank transactions to try and put it out of business Maryland placed a tax on all national bank transactions to try and put it out of business

25 John Marshall and the Court Say: Any laws Congress passes, so long as they hold to the spirit of the Constitution, are okay Any laws Congress passes, so long as they hold to the spirit of the Constitution, are okay This is a liberal constructionist position This is a liberal constructionist position Since this case, Congress has used many implied powers Since this case, Congress has used many implied powers

26 Nonlegislative Powers Propose Constitutional Amendments with 2/3 vote in both houses Propose Constitutional Amendments with 2/3 vote in both houses House of Reps. chooses the president if no candidate gets a majority in the electoral college House of Reps. chooses the president if no candidate gets a majority in the electoral college Senate chooses vice-president Senate chooses vice-president

27 Nonlegislative Powers Impeachment – means to bring criminal charges against Impeachment – means to bring criminal charges against Impeachment requires majority vote in the House Impeachment requires majority vote in the House

28 Nonlegislative Powers After House votes, trial begins After House votes, trial begins Chief Justice acts as judge, Senate acts as jury Chief Justice acts as judge, Senate acts as jury

29 Nonlegislative Powers A conviction, which would remove the pres. from office, requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate A conviction, which would remove the pres. from office, requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate

30 Executive Powers Appointment – President appoints officials with majority approval of Senate Appointment – President appoints officials with majority approval of Senate

31 Executive Powers Treaties – President makes treaties, but Senate must approve with 2/3 vote Treaties – President makes treaties, but Senate must approve with 2/3 vote


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