Rząd i społeczeństwo USA
- Article II of the Constitution
- Formal and informal powers of the US president
- Executive orders
- Presidential signing statements
- Roles and powers of the president: lesson overview
- Roles and powers of the president: advanced
A high-level overview of the presidency, including the president's formal and informal powers.
Why do we have a president? And how do presidents get things done?
The Framers of the Constitution wanted to ensure that the executive branch was powerful enough to act, and so in Article II of the US Constitution, they established that executive power in the United States is vested in a president, who has certain powers. The powers of the president outlined in Article II are known as formal powers, but over the years presidents have claimed other powers, known as informal powers.
Presidents campaign for office based on their policy agendas: the things they promise voters that they will attempt to accomplish while in office. They use their formal and informal powers to accomplish their policy agendas.
|cabinet||A group of presidential advisers, including the heads of the executive departments, the attorney general, and other officials chosen by the president.|
|executive agreement||An international agreement between the president and another country, which does not require the consent of the Senate.|
|executive order||A presidential order to the executive branch that carries the force of law. The Supreme Court can rule executive orders unconstitutional.|
|pocket veto||An indirect veto, which the president can use by neither signing or vetoing a bill passed by Congress fewer than 10 days before it adjourns.|
|signing statement||A presidential statement upon signing a bill into law, which explains how a president’s administration intends to interpret the law.|
|State of the Union address||The president’s annual message to a joint session of Congress, which includes recommended legislation and evaluations of the nation’s top priorities and economic health.|
|veto||The president’s constitutional right to reject a law passed by Congress. Congress may override the president’s veto with a two-thirds vote.|
Formal powers of the president
|Executive||Take care that the laws be faithfully executed|
|Nominate officials (with Senate confirmation)|
|Request written opinions from administrative officials|
|Fill administrative vacancies during congressional recesses|
|Foreign policy||Act as Commander in Chief of the armed forces|
|Make treaties (with Senate ratification)|
|Nominate ambassadors (with Senate confirmation)|
|Confer diplomatic recognition on other governments|
|Judicial||Grant reprieves and pardons for federal offenses (except impeachment)|
|Nominate federal judges (with Senate confirmation)|
|Legislative||Recommend legislation to Congress|
|Present information on the State of the Union to Congress|
|Convene Congress on extraordinary occasions|
|Adjourn Congress if House and Senate cannot agree|
|Veto legislation (Congress may overrule with supermajority)|
Informal powers of the president
|Bargaining and persuasion||Setting priorities for Congress and attempting to get majorities to put through the president’s legislative agenda|
|Issuing executive orders||Regulations to run the government and direct the bureaucracy|
|Issuing signing statements||Giving the president's intended interpretation of bills passed by Congress|
|Negotiating executive agreements||Agreements with heads of foreign governments that are not ratified by the Senate|
Key takeaway for this lesson
Beyond the Constitution — Article II of the Constitution describes the formal powers of the president, but the president also has informal powers, which have grown over time. Because the president and Congress have interrelated powers, tension frequently erupts between the two branches.
Why are some presidential powers “formal,” while others are “informal”? What’s the difference between these two types of power?
Should presidents be permitted to make signing statements, giving their interpretation of the law, when it's Congress's job to make law? Why or why not?