UB PSC 101 - Presidency (33 pages)

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Presidency



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Presidency

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Pages:
33
School:
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Course:
Psc 101 - Intro American Politics
Intro American Politics Documents
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The Presidency October 1 2014 Head of State and Head of Commander in Chief Government Congress declares war but recent conflicts have seen the president taking the lead War Powers Act Executive agreements Much the same as treaties but cut the Senate out of the process Controls the bureaucracy As Nixon did can with some restrictions control how appropriations are spent The President and Congress The modern presidency has been marked by the presence of divided government As a result often bypass Congress altogether Recess appointments bypass the Senate Intended to have a final check on the legislative process the veto Gradually came to set the legislative agenda Congress delegates authority to the executive bureaucracy President can issue executive orders Acts as the first mover Solves coordination problems by proposing changes in national policy Veto Bargaining President can shape what comes out of Congress with the mere threat of a veto Process of bargaining back and forth often ensues What forms can this process take Types of Veto President has ten days excluding Sundays to take action Can sign let the bill become law without his signature or veto Pocket veto Congress recesses before the ten day period is up Line item veto briefly used during the Clinton administration Ruled unconstitutional by the Court The President and the Parties Early on conferred benefits to their parties through patronage appointments to jobs in the bureaucracy The presidency was a prize to be sought by the parties helps to explain why the GOP gave up on Reconstruction just to retain the office Presidents received little media attention in the 19 th century outside of the context of the campaign Congress was the main attraction The President and the Parties Part Deux Today the president is often thought to be the leader of his or hopefully someday her party Sets the parties respective agendas State of the Union address is often used to signal legislative priorities Wasn t always the case FDR and the Democratic Party Legislative agenda was frustrated by conservative Democrats in Congress Court packing failed Resolved to purge the Democratic Party of its conservative elements Intervened in select Democratic primary contests in 1938 Is thought to have lost turned to unilateral executive action in pursuit of his agenda Party predators Presidency Continued October 3 2014 Quick Announcements Next Friday we will have a guest speaker UB alum Environmental law expert who has worked with the bureaucracy Worksheet on Federalist 70 72 on Ublearns We will go over it on Monday The Veto Game More examples of veto bargaining Ends in a veto when Congress and the president are simply too far apart 1 Congress favors a more drastic change in policy than does the president 2 The president favors a more drastic policy change than does Congress The Imperial Presidency Frequent criticism of the office Rarely lives up to the name Unitary executive George W Bush s unique theory of the expansive powers afforded to the office of the presidency In signing statements Bush took exception to what he saw as legislative encroachments Threatened to ignore certain provisions In a similar vein the justice department has refused to enforce certain laws e g VRA pre clearance under Bush and the Solicitor General has declined to defend certain laws e g DOMA Executive privilege confidential communications between the president and his advisors not be revealed without consent The President and Public Opinion Going public Convince those who would oppose him in Washington that there is a public mandate for his policies But does it work President is rarely able to move public opinion Does it need to work Appeal to the public alone may send the necessary signal to those he hopes to influence Going Local Contested opinion theories The president and the permanent campaign Does the President Lead Public Opinion or Follow Presidents on occasion pander to the public Follow public opinion even if they believe it to be wrong Do so conditionally Close to elections that are expected to be tight owing to dips in approval polls Presidential Approval Gives the president the political capital necessary to make policy Honeymoon period after an election is often when most things on the president s agenda get done As the electorate has polarized sharply the honeymoon has gotten shorter The Institutional Presidency The organization of the presidency has come a long way White House Office staff system OMB creates the annual federal budget monitors agency performance etc Cabinet heads of executive departments Presidential Power Neustadt 1960 presidential power is the power to persuade Convince others in Washington that the president s policy goals are in their best interest too More recently scholars have looked to the president s use of executive orders and other tools at his disposal for unilateral policymaking as evidence that he need not necessarily persuade in order to get things done The Constitutional Bases of Presidential Power Clearly defined expressed powers in Article II Makes treaties Senate still has to ratify hence executive agreements Grant pardons Nominate judges and other cabinet level positions The Presidency Concluded October 6 2014 Formal Checks on Presidential Power Senate confirms presidential appointees and formally ratifies treaties Can also override the veto Congress can tap special prosecutors to investigate alleged presidential misconduct Can also impeach Impeachment Two presidents have been impeached Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton Both escaped being turned out of office Nixon almost certainly would have been impeached as well had he not resigned Reserved for Treason Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors What does this mean House impeaches Senate votes for removal Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides Shall Take Care that the Laws be Faithfully Executed President also has those powers that Congress delegates to him Implied powers inherent powers Qualifications for Office Natural born citizen At least 35 years of age Resident of the US for at least 14 years Rationale Behind the Design of the Presidency Strong executive needed to respond to national crises and enforce the laws Coerce conflicting groups to cooperate for the good of the whole nation Federalist 70 72 Provides a rationale behind why the presidency was structured the way it was Written by Alexander Hamilton perhaps the convention s chief defender of a strong


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