The Presidential Powers

Introduction

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Within the American Constitution, the powers of the president are inadequately outlined and discussed. In essence, the law explains on how to elect a president, their serving terms, qualifications, succession processes, and impeachment. Therefore, the constitution power given to the presidents is arguably the weakest. However, the president can source power from both institutional and political resources an approach that has strengthened their positions over the years. It is worth noting that through politics and institution presidents and particularly those in the 20th century have successfully exercised their powers during their terms thus gaining support from the voters and their affiliate parties. On the other hand, the congressional powers have been overridden, and balance of power no longer exists between legislature and executive branches. Although various explanations have been provided on why presidents reacted to certain issues, their resolutions are often seen to bring conflicts in leadership in the America. Therefore, this study will describe the powers of the president as per the constitution, how they source power from institutional and political resources, and the future of checks and balances of the legislature and executive arms.

The Presidential Constitutional Powers

The United States Constitution grants the executive branch four major powers, including the military, diplomatic, appointment, and legislative powers. In fact, through the military powers, the president is referred to as the Commander in Chief who is responsible for all the armed forces (Ginsberg et al. 316). With this authority, the executive ensures to uphold the security of America and its citizens, thus preventing military seize from the defense generals. In addition, the president is constitutionally assigned diplomatic powers. Therefore, the leaders can make treaties with other foreign nations with consent and advice from Senate. Moreover, presidents recognize other countries, receive their ambassadors or public ministers, represent America in other states, and perform any ceremonial duties whenever it is needed.

Additionally, the president has the power to appoint (Ginsberg et al. 316). In essence, it is the executive’s responsibility to appoint Consuls, Ambassadors, Public Ministers, Supreme Court judges, and any other officers within America but with the Senate’s approval. In addition, the head of state can grant pardons to federal law offenders; hence, reducing their prison terms and fines. Through the legislative powers, the president can veto any legislation submitted by the Congress (Ginsberg et al. 318). Under those premises, once a bill passes both legislative houses it is taken to the president for approval. However, if it is not satisfactory, then the president at his/her liberty can decline to sign the bill until it is rectified.

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Presidential Political and Institutional Resources

Both political and institutional resources are used to strengthen the feeble laid down constitutional powers of the president. With these possessions, the executive branch can speedily resolve emergency situations without waiting for the lengthy process of legislative approval. Moreover, both resources are essential tools of easing the president’s ability to mobilize the citizens, manage, and govern the country. Particularly, the institutional resources have been extensively used by sitting presidents to rule the country. Notably, these funds are sourced on a formal approach, including the White House employees, the kitchen cabinet, the vice president, the president’s first spouse, independent government organizations and agencies, and advisers in the Executive Office of the President (EOP).

Specifically, the kitchen cabinet is resourceful for the executive because they guide and counsel the president on important issues. On the other hand, the white house staffs are responsible for acquiring and gathering critical information in the entire nation, thus preventing the president from being caught by surprise on issues on security and national interest (Ginsberg et al. 323). In addition, the EOP is also an essential institutional resource because it undertakes various management tasks. In fact, independent organizations and agencies manage the budget, the environment, America’s security, and economic trends (Ginsberg et al. 325). For instance, in 2013 using the information provided by the Environmental Protection Agency President Obama prepared the US for climate change where scientists were allowed to research on the Alaskan glacier shrinking rate.

Furthermore, vice presidents act as important institutional resources, especially after the elections. Again, their offices are essential in that they are assigned management duties on behalf of sitting presidents. For example, President George Bush gave Dick Cheney his running mate significant responsibilities of managing the war on terror in 2001. Consequently, in Obama’s administration, Joe Biden have remained an important person because over the years he has ensured that policies are analyzed before they are recommended to the president. First spouses have also been essential institutional resources for leaders. First ladies, including Michelle Obama, have been used to launch and administer necessary policies during the President Obama’s terms. For instance, Michelle is remembered for her active campaign in 2010 against obesity (Ginsberg et al. 326). Similarly, the reason for using first spouses in many campaigns is that they are rarely in the limelight and under scrutiny, especially by the media.

Correspondingly, the political resources take a more informal approach where presidents rely on parties, mobilizing citizens, and upholding a strong administration (Ginsberg et al. 327). As such, the party affiliations are an essential political resource for the executive arm, but they have become unreliable over the centuries. However, the strength of a sitting president’s political party often determines the ease of implementation of his legislations. For example, in 2010, President Obama relied on the Senate to help him win his federal judicial appointment. However, creating support bases against their political opponents is considered as one of the strongest political resources for 20th-century executives. In this era, presidents have taken the trend of informing the public, especially on the online platforms. For example, President Obama during his election in 2008 and 2012 composed a Web tool where they communicated with their supporters, advertised, defended, and organized them in readiness for the general elections (Ginsberg et al. 329). In fact, the White House today has a website where the president’s speeches are communicated, and conferences are posted on YouTube every day. Similarly, taking on the media has allowed leaders to administrate the American citizens directly.

The other most active political resource for presidential powers is the construction of enhanced administrative control strategies. In this case, the plans include increasing the capabilities of the EOP, federal bureaucracy, administering through executive orders, and regular signing of statements. Therefore, these strategic resources have made it possible for the president to accomplish their long-term goals without the support of the public, partisans, or the legislature. For instance, in 2012, using an executive order President Obama stopped the deportation of immigrants who had come to America as children despite the lack of documents. President Bush also extensively issued orders which added up to 300 guidelines during his administration (Ginsberg et al. 332). In essence, some of these briefings included the order against a terrorist attack in 2001 and federal funding for family planning researchers.

Future Balance of Power

Presidents in this century have extensively used the institutional and political resources to strengthen their weakened constitutional powers. Due to this change, the future of a balanced congress and executive seems bleak. Therefore, the reason for this weakness is anchored on the aspect that the legislature takes long procedures to react to emergencies while the president hastily resolves issues, especially those under a state of urgency (Ginsberg et al. 335). However, despite decreasing powers of Congress and a strengthening executive arm, the Framers of the Constitution initial idea was that both branches coexist through checks and balances. Nonetheless, lack of proper checks and balances has landed America in trouble both in security matters and its economy with presidents making decisions solely without consulting the Congress.

Conclusion

In the United States, the issue of power sharing between the Congress and executive has remained a serious problem throughout the years. Nonetheless, while the president is considered as the most powerful individual, his/her constitutional powers are not well defined thus creating a loophole in the leadership capacity of the head of state. Therefore, leaders in today’s era source more power from the institutional and political resources they have in place. With these resources, the executive branch can now be considered stronger in its administrative duties while the Congress is weakening consequently. In essence, that is why the idea of balanced power between Congress and the president may not be realized in future because both arms react differently to emergencies and urgent situations.

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