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The Presidency
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  1. The Presidency

  2. Article II • Establishes the Executive branch, qualifications, succession, etc. • Also vaguely defines the president’s powers • Remember “separation of powers” • - division of government authority across political institutions

  3. Article II Section 1 • Term of office (4 years) • 22nd amendment • Qualifications • 35, natural born citizen, 14 year resident of U.S. • Succession • Pres., VP, Speaker, Pro tem, Sec. State, Sec. Treasury, Sec. Defense. …..cabinet in creation. • 25 Amendment • Compensation • Currently $400,000 per year in salary • Oath

  4. Article II Section 2 • Commander in chief (War Powers Act) • Commissioning new officers • Grants reprieves and pardons (public opinion) • Treaties (Ratified by 2/3 of Senate) • Receive ambassadors (public opinion) • Appointment power (Confirmed by Senate) • Ex: Appointments to the Supreme Court • Dealys in Confirmation can occur during divided government • State of the Union (public opinion, opposition party, interest groups) • Adjourn Congress/Call special sessions • “take care” clause • Impeachment and trial- House votes for impeachment, and the Senate conducts a trial and reaches a guilty verdict

  5. Roles of the President • What exactly does the president do? • What are the “hats” that he wears? • Presidential Daily Diary Assignment

  6. Roles of the President • Chief legislator • Chief party leader • Chief diplomat • Commander in chief • Chief of state • Chief executive • Chief jurist • Chief administrator • Chief citizen

  7. What is the imperial presidency? • Power of the office of President has grown over the years to extend power beyond what the Constitution allows • FDR-New Deal and subsequent growth of government involvement in the policies of the states (and families), Escalation of troops in foreign “wars” without a declaration of war • Role of the president in implementing a policy agenda

  8. What has caused the growth of presidential power in the past 50 years? • Personal strengths • One person office • Need for bigger government- increase in public expectations for services from the federal government • Action in time of crisis (ex: tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union during Cold War period)

  9. What has caused the growth of presidential power in the past 50 years? • Roles of legislator, party leader and citizen have expanded • Ex: Executive Orders: Since 1970s Presidents have made use of executive orders at an increasing rate because they do not need to be passed by Congress • Staff support is larger • Media use to communicate with “constituents” • Economic and domestic problems such as inflation, unemployment, and civil rights • Increasing United States involvement in international affairs • A President’s popularity tens to fall during his term in office (after the “honeymoon period”

  10. Abuse of Powers • Executive Privilege • The issue of executive privilege was not directly addressed by the Supreme Court until Nixon’s attempt to withhold tapes in the Watergate Scandal

  11. Presidential Powers • President have the power to veto- most successful in times of unified government (at least 2/3 of representatives and senators are the same party as the President) • Pocket Veto- occurs when the President takes no action on a bill for ten days during which Congress is adjourned • Legislative Veto- Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional on the grounds that such vetoes violated the principle of separation of powers • Presidents DO NOT currently have the power of line-item veto

  12. Limitations on Presidential Powers • Line-item veto- Presidents do not have this power. Supreme Court ruled in Clinton v. New York City, (1998), they considered it to be a violation of Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution. The Constitution vests Congress with the power to craft legislation; the President can sign, or refuse to sign, only the entire packaged bill. (violation of separation of powers) • * Many state governors still use line-item veto

  13. War Powers Act • President must consult with Congress re: military use (notify within 48 hrs.) • Withdrawal of forces (within 60-90 days) unless extension granted by Congress • Congress may end commitment at any time

  14. Budget Impoundment Act • Created the CBO • Est. a fixed budget calendar • Budget committee in each house • Dealt with impoundment issues • Move by Congress to regain power previously lost to the executive branch • President cant impound funds appropriated by Congress

  15. The Bureaucracy

  16. The Bureaucracy • Set of complex hierarchy of departments, agencies and commissions mandated with helping the president enforce law. • “Fourth Branch” of government • Fundamental source of power for the federal bureaucracy lies in its ability to set specific guidelines after receiving a general mandate from Congress

  17. Bureaucratic Involvement • Iron triangles (sub-governments) • Networks of Congressional committees, bureaucratic agencies, and interest groups that strongly influence the policy process

  18. What is REGO? • Reinventing Government • Plan to reduce the size of government under Clinton (National Performance Review) • “Mend it but don’t end it” • Changes? • Cuts in education and agriculture • Privatization • Customer friendly measures adopted • Regulations rewritten • Efficiency awards • Success? • Privatization and state services increased • Overall considered successful • Occurred under a divided government

  19. Cabinet Members • President does not have constitutional power to form new cabinet-level departments • Presidential goals often conflict with the institutional goals of individual cabinet level agencies • Established in Article II, Section 2- the Cabinet's role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member's respective office. •

  20. Cabinet Departments • Fifteen (see handout) • BROAD areas of responsibility • Secretaries and the Attorney General • EX: Attorney General- primary role is to head the Department of Justice • 60 percent of the federal workforce • Can be fired by President without Senate approval • Largest Department? • Newest Department?

  21. Independent Regulatory Agencies • FCC, SEC, FTC, OHSA, EPA, FRB, etc. • Consumer and citizen protections and economic regulation • Commissioners served fixed terms • Separate from President, exist outside cabinet • Designed for objectivity, non-partisanship

  22. Government Corporations • Businesses est. by Congress that provide a “private sector” good or service • TVA, USPS, FDIC, Amtrak • Funded through operation’s profits, NOT Congress

  23. Executive Agencies • Fully responsible to the President • Loyal to the President • Most executive agencies are more service related than regulatory • General Services Administration

  24. Executive Office of the President • Can be created by President or by Congress • NSC • CEA • OMB

  25. White House Staff • President’s “people:” In recent administrations, the principal staff for the president has been made of members of the White House Office • 600 + • Aides: Chief of Staff (Emmanuel), Press Secretary (Gibbs), Speechwriters, etc. • Confirmation NOT required •

  26. What are the similarities? • Each is part of the executive branch • Authorized by Congress • Most are appropriated by Congress • Internal bureaucracy • Civil servants and appointees • Services to the public • Divided loyalties

  27. What are the criticisms of the bureaucracy? • “red tape” • Procedures, policies, forms, lines, etc. • Inefficient • Lack of incentive, no profit motive • Duplication of services • Overlapping responsibilities (USDA/FDA) • Federalism • Bureaucrats are making law • regulations • Too big • Need privatization • Corruption • Iron triangles or subgovernments

  28. Federal Employees

  29. Spoils System v. Merit System • Spoils system-”to the victor belong the spoils” • Merit system-jobs awarded based on merit • Pendleton Act set up merit system. (Garfield’s assassination) • OPM is the human resources office of the federal government •

  30. What is the Hatch Act? • Act which limited the political activities of federal employees • Why? Prevent corruption, political advantages • Can’t • Run for partisan office • Fundraise at work • Can • Vote and assist • Donate money • Campaign off duty • Hold elected position in a political party

  31. What is the Pendleton Act? • The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act is a 19th century law that changed the hiring practices for federal jobs. The law was designed to remove politics from the hiring process and install a merit-based system.

  32. What is the Freedom of Information Act? • Act which makes public records available to citizens • Cost is a concern for government

  33. The Whistleblower Act? • Bureaucrat can report wrongdoing on superiors without job being in jeopardy • Special Counsel can get involved and lengthy investigation could follow • Controversies involving FBI labs and IRS promotions are examples of Whistleblower results