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The President’s Ability to Say “NO”

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Presentation on theme: "The President’s Ability to Say “NO”"— Presentation transcript:

1 The President’s Ability to Say “NO”

2 Power to Say NO President’s have used the veto, executive privilege, and impoundment of funds to stand up to Congress and say NO!

3 The Veto Power Veto/Veto Message Pocket Veto
And briefly the Line Item Veto!

4 Line-Item Veto Veto certain spending measures per line and not the whole bill (1997) Congress could override the line item veto with 2/3rds vote by each chamber Clinton v. City of New York (1998) ruled the line-item veto as being an unconstitutional transfer of power

5 Executive Privilege Pres Eisenhower was the first president to coin the phrase "executive privilege," but not the first to invoke its principle: that a president has the right to withhold certain information from Congress, the courts or anyone else — even when faced with a subpoena. Presidents have argued that executive privilege is a principle implied in the constitutionally mandated separation of powers. In order to do their job, presidents contend, they need candid advice from their aides — and aides simply won't be willing to give such advice if they know they might be called to testify, under oath, before a congressional committee or in some other forum.

6 United States v. Nixon (1974):
Executive Privilege United States v. Nixon (1974): no executive privilege to protect from personal criminal investigation (in other words…turn over the tapes!!) SCOTUS establishes the implied power of executive privilege as legal and rooted in the principle of separation of powers

7 The Ability of the Congress to Say NO!

8 No from Congress: No from the US Senate only:
Legislative Override Process (2/3rds vote from both chambers) No from the US Senate only: Confirms Treaties with 2/3rds vote Confirms nominations with a majority vote (51%)

9 The War Powers Resolution 1973
An example of Congress limiting the powers of the President as commander in chief President must notify Congress within 48 hours of committing troops President may not wage war beyond 60 days (may get a 30 day extension with Congressional approval) Congress passed this by overriding Pres. Nixon’s veto!

10 Impoundment of Funds Presidents before 1974 have refused to spend money appropriated by Congress if they did not agree with a program or policy (Nixon impounded almost $12 billion during his term of office!) The Constitution is silent on whether a President MUST spend the $$ It only says the President cannot spend $$ not appropriated by Congress

11 The Budget and Impoundment Control Act (1974)
The President must spend all funds appropriated by Congress unless he first informs them of what funds he wishes not to spend (rescission authority) and Congress has 45 days to delete those items or the funds must be released by the President If the President just wants to delay the spending he must inform Congress as well. Congress may pass a resolution for immediate release of the money. The law specifically stated that the President had no constitutional power to impound. Most requests to rescind spending have been rejected by Congress, but requests to defer some spending to later years are often accepted.


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