Examine The Causes Of Conflict Between The


Examine The Causes Of Conflict Between The President And Congress And The Factors Which Encourage Compromise. Essay, Research Paper

Examine the causes of conflict between the President and Congress and the factors which encourage compromise.

Government has been defined in many different ways, by a long list of philosophers and social scientists from Aristotle to Confucius, to those of present day. Many of these definitions have embraced the ideals of what purpose the United States Government serves. A commonly viewed end has been either justice or public good. However, our forefathers wanted nothing more than a self-governing republic run for and by the people. Conflicting views between the President and Congress insist that it has rarely achieved either ideal.

Our founding fathers knew how fragile self-government could be. They attempted to create a self-governing republic dedicated to the principles of freedom and representative democracy; a republic carefully balanced and strong enough to ensure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people would endure.

The separation of powers was an ingenious idea new to its time. Our forefathers struggled to create a government in which no branch of government over powered another. A government in which a strict assembly of checks and balances could be held in order to maintain a healthy order. In 1781, Thomas Jefferson warned:

The concentrating of [power] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.

The basic theory under which Congress operates is that all official governmental action must have a legal base behind it. Congress must constantly keep a close eye on the rest of the government and with society as a whole. Its function being it must make sure existing laws are adequate and take proper action when new laws are in order. The Congress separated into two bodies, The house of representative and the senate. The framers believed that congress would have the most power, and be most dangerous. Therefore, the constitution spells out in great detail what

Congress can and cannot do, allowing citizens to be aware. Having a bicameral system allowed the power to be split even further, and to allow for internal checks and balances.

The Presidency, as listed in the Constitution is summed up in one sentence The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America (Art.II, Sec.1.) The briefness of this statement has allowed this office to evolve into the great sanction it has become.

Many factors are involved when it comes to strife between the President and Congress. Whether it be partisanship, the majority party at the time being in Congress, the distribution of resources, such as taxes or pluralism, wherein a policy is more responsive to the interests of a particular group rather than a majorities opinion. All of these circumstances have created over time the locking of horns between the President and Congress

Occasionally, conflict between the President and Congress arise due to partisanship. For many Presidents it is key to have a Congress filled with members of their own party. The Unity that occurs when partisanship is accounted for in the house and senate is remarkable. However, when a President has to contend with a non-partisan Congress. When the opposing party leads a Congress, the President must overcome many obstacles.

These obstacles create friction between Congress and the President. Between 1954 and 1992, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush had to deal with a Congress filled with Democrats. During this time, Congress passed a smaller percentage of the initiatives proposed by each of these presidents than by any Democratic president of the period-Kennedy, Johnson or Carter. However, in his first year of office, Bill Clinton, having the majority of Democratic support from Congress was able to accomplish a feat that his predecessor George Bush was unable to do. He was able to pass the Deficit Reduction Bill . Even though no Republican voted for this bill in particular, the bill still received 85% of congressional democrat s votes. Partisanship in Congress, or the lack thereof has caused many problems between the President and itself. But the one of the key factors in history that shows there can be a medium between the two was in 1980.

A good example of a healthy relationship between the President and Congress was shown in 1980. During the Reagan administration, the congressional budget process would be dominated by the executive branch for the one and only time For the first time in twenty five years the senate was controlled almost solely by republicans, which

made the relationship between the President and Congress very commodious. The republican s Senators members were quick to help the President who had put them back on top. In order to continue this element of smooth sailing the administration worked with house republicans and also and number of conservative democrats who shared many of the same beliefs

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