the institutional presidency n.
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The Institutional Presidency. Evolution of the Institutional Presidency.

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evolution of the institutional presidency
Evolution of the Institutional Presidency
  • The institutional presidency is the a term commonly applied to the White House, Office of Management and Budget, and other elements of the Executive Office of the President-for example the Council of Economic Advisors and the National Security Council.
  • Less commonly, it also refers to patterned behaviors that link the presidency to other parts of the political system. The relation to the OMB, for example, is quite regularized in its interactions with the bureaucracy, while many other structures are ephemeral in their relation to the presidency.
Corwin estimates that 1 of every 3 presidents has been responsible for expansion of executive authority through time. Still some presidencies have been more expansive than others.
  • Washington- He quickly filled in the “silences” of the Constitution by establishing precedents.
  • The Constitution made no provision for an advisory body to the president. This was left vague intentionally with the statement “request the opinion in writing” of those in the executive branch. Washington turned to his Department Heads for advice to establish a “cabinet” like government. He went beyond the Constitutional charge to “request the opinion in writing”.
Congress established: Department of State, Department of Treasury, Department of War, Post Office, Attorney General-1789 ; Department of Navy-1798 ;Department of Interior-1849 ; Department of Agriculture-1862 ; Department of Commerce and Labor 1903 ; Department of Commerce, Department of Labor 1913 ; Department of Defense-1947 ; Department of Health, Education, and Welfare-1953 ; Housing and Urban Development-1965 ; Transportation-1966 ; Energy-1977 ; Health and Human Services-1980 ; Education-1980 ; Veteran’s Affairs-1988 ; Homeland Security-2002
  • The heads of these Departments, called Secretaries, are called the Cabinet.
  • During the 19th century and until the mid-20th century, presidents relied extensively on their cabinets for advice.
  • Recall our earlier discussion of the White House and how little personnel support that presidents had until the F.D. Roosevelt administration.
From 1787 to 1857 the president’s staff was very small and they were paid out of the president’s own pocket. No public funds were authorized for presidential staff or support. The phrase in the constitution that the president “shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States.”was taken as a prohibition on support for the president.
  • Nevertheless, in 1857 Congress passed a law that provided funds for a private secretary to the president, a steward, and a messenger.
  • This was seen as precedent, and the staffing of the institutional presidency continued through the years.
  • Still, until the FDR administration, staffing was meager. Staff were mainly clerks for the purpose of answering mail, etc. Grover Cleveland answered his own telephone. Woodrow Wilson typed his own letters.
By the 20th century, the job of presidential secretaries had turned to drafting speeches, regulating access to the president, and on occasion providing advice.
  • As late as 1922, the official staff to the presidency was only 31.
  • The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 sharply altered one dimension of support for the president. It established the Bureau of the Budget for the purpose of assisting the president in formulating a presidential budget for submission to Congress.
  • When Franklin Roosevelt came to office in 1933, a recognizable albeit small presidential staff existed. It was slowly growing in size and beginning to show signs of specialization and division of labor.
  • Nevertheless, Roosevelt felt overwhelmed because of the growth in government and multiple tasks the president was required to perform.
In 1936 Roosevelt designated a commission of scholars (Louis Brownlow, Charles Merriam, and Luther Gulick) to study the problems of governmental organization and support for the president. The Brownlow Commission reported back to the president in January 1937 with a set of recommendations.
  • The Brownlow report is among the most important documents relating to the evolution of the institutional presidency and marks the hey day of influence from the academic field of public administration.
  • The Brownlow report recommended the creation of a staffing system to help the president with:
    • Increased executive tasks
    • Managerial functions such as budgeting, personnel, research, planning, efficiency
    • Extension of the merit civil service system
    • Revision of the fiscal system, especially auditing and record keeping.
The Brownlow report was controversial, seen by some in Congress as a power grab on the part of the presidency.
  • A much watered down set of recommendations for support of the presidency was passed by Congress in April of 1939.
  • The Reorganization Act of 1939 gave the president authority to reorganize the executive branch, subject to a legislative veto. Note that this authority was renewed each year through 1980.
  • Reorganization Plan No. 1 under this legislation established the Executive Office of the President (EOP). This plan transferred pre-existing agencies, the Natural Resources Planning Board and the Bureau of the Budget to the EOP.
The creation of EOP marked the beginning of a large staffing and support system for the president.
  • Here is a chronology of changes in the EOP through time. Those changes marked in bold are often deemed the most important changes. Of special note are the following:
    • White House Office-1939
    • Council of Economic Advisers-1946
    • National Security Council-1949
    • Council on Environmental Quality-1969
    • Office of Management and Budget-1970
    • Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations-1975
    • Office of Science and Technology Policy-1976
    • Office of Administration-1977
    • Office of National Drug Control Policy-1988
    • National Economic Council-1993
    • Domestic Policy Council-1993
Of the 45 changes in EOP through time, 16 have occurred through public laws, 16 have occurred through executive orders, and the remainder occurred through reorganization plans. Implications?
  • The EOP has grown in staff and budget since 1939. Official data in 2010 put the EOP budget at $830 million, with 1,888 staff members. Of these, 487 are with the White House, 528 are with OMB, 229 are in the Office of the Trade Representative, 225 are with the Office of Administration, 96 are with the Executive Residence, etc. Here are links to the EOP and White House.
  • Currently there are 11 major units in the EOP. These include the following:
    • White House Office
    • Council of Economic Advisors
    • National Security Council
    • Council on Environmental Quality
    • Office of Management and Budget
    • Office of the Special Trade Representative
    • Office of Science and Technology Policy
    • Office of Administration
    • Office of National Drug Control Policy
    • National Economic Council
    • Domestic Policy Council
Of course, the part of the EOP closest to the presidency is the White House Office, consisting of around 500 persons who manage the daily affairs of the president. This office consists of the following:
    • Chief of Staff
    • Cabinet Secretary
    • Counsel to the President
    • Office of Communications
    • Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
    • Office of Legislative Affairs
    • Office of Political Affairs
    • Office of Presidential Personnel
    • Office of Public Liason
    • Office of Scheduling
    • Office of Special Projects
    • Office of Speechwriting
    • Press Secretary
    • Staff Secretary
    • Director of the Domestic Policy Council
    • Director of the National Economic Council
    • National Security Advisor
    • Office of Administration
    • Special Envoy to the Americas
    • Advance Office
    • Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy
    • Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Development
From the standpoint of policy, there are three offices within EOP that are more important than the others. These are the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Council of Economic Advisors, and the National Security Council.
  • The OMB, which replaced the Bureau of the Budget in 1970, does the following:
  • Legislative Clearance-
    • Before an agency of the executive can submit legislation for consideration by Congress, it must be approved by the Office of Legislative Affairs within OMB.
    • OMB reviews legislation passed by Congress and makes a recommendation to the president concerning whether it should be signed or vetoed.
Regulatory Clearance-
    • Beginning with the Ford administration OMB has contained an office assigned to perform cost-benefit analysis of major rules coming out of the executive brancy.
    • EO 12291 during the Reagan administration greatly accentuated this review process by creating a new office and making explicit which rules should be reviewed. Reviewed 2-3 thousand regulations per year.
    • All presidents since Reagan have maintained this function, with the definition of major rule being changed and made more inclusive by fresh executive orders from each presidency.
    • Clinton’s was EO 12866- Reviewed fewer 500-700 annually.
    • Bush’s was 13,422. Congress overturned his order giving OIRA additional powers.
Council of Economic Advisers- This organization was created as a result of the Employment Act of 1946 which charged the president directly with maintaining “full employment”. It is charged with the following:
    • Assist the president in formulating an annual economic report to Congress
    • Collect and analyze economic data
    • Monitor federal programs for consistency with the Employment Act of 1946 and later the Humphrey-Hawkins Act.
    • Recommend economic policies to the president
    • Provide the president with whatever economic advice he asks for.
National Security Council- This organization was initially created after World War II owing to congressional frustration with Roosevelt’s management of the war. However, it was moved by President Truman to the EOP in 1949. This was a response to the onset of the “cold war.”
    • The mandate of the NSC is to “advise the president with respect to integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to national security.”
    • Roughly a dozen people serve on the NSC, including the president, vice-president, secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury, the UN ambassador, the CIA director, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assistant to the president for national security affairs, assistant to the president for economic affairs, and the White House Chief of Staff.
  • The CEA and NSC both illustrate how Congress can make its demands felt on the EOP. Both organizations were congressionally created to fulfill new obligations on the presidency.
The Vice-President and First Lady are also closely associated with the White House.
  • Vice-Presidents have traditionally not been very involved in the operation of the White House. Neither have First Ladies.
  • Your text contains some discussion of these actors and their changing roles.
why has the presidency developed as an institution since 1787
Why has the presidency developed as an institution since 1787?
  • Judicial influence-It was not until 1937 and several important Supreme Court decisions that government expanded. Government expansion meant expansion in the presidency.
  • Interest groups-Government has expanded and often representsinterest groups. The plural presidency concept.
  • Presidential initiatives-Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt.
  • Expansion through statute-Budget and Accounting act of 1921, etc.
staffing the eop
Staffing the EOP
  • Presidents have used three basic models to organize the White House staff. Collegial model-Kennedy used, and Carter and Clinton began with. Competitive system-Roosevelt used this. Formal, Centrally Managed system-Eisenhower, Reagan.
  • Collegial system-Small group of aides who work informally together to advise the president, plan and coordinate administration positions and responses. Key ingredient is working together. Team approach. Generate loyalty without centralized control. Most collegial staffs come directly from the president’s campaign. True believers. Lack of experience. Team may be too cohesive, perceptions too uniform so that the president does not get the gamut of advice. Group-think.
  • Did this phenomenon lead to the Bay of Pigs fiasco? Vietnam? White House response to Iraqi invasion of Kuwait?
Competitive model-Broadly seek advice from those who are adversaries. Adversaries have a strong incentive to flesh out all information. Then, collect information, analyze, and make a decision. Problem with this model is that only Roosevelt was adept enough to use it.
  • Centrally Managed Hierarchical system. All information is directed upward through a rigidly organized hierarchical system in which a single presidential advisor filters information to the president. Homework is done below; decisionmaking is done above. Problem is that it can be too efficient so that decisions are already made before they reach the president. Aggravates the proclivity toward isolation for the White House.
  • Was this type staffing system partially responsible for the Watergate cover-up?