The powers of the president are not very well defined in the constitution of the UnitedStates; therefore, this has left many questions to be answered on what the presidentspowers really are. The president of the United States has usually taken it upon himself tofind holes in the constitution to make new policy. This is not very hard for a president todo being that there are only a few guidelines in the constitution for him to follow. Thepresident has no real need to get constitutional change, when they can find ways around itinformally instead. There are many examples of presidents using power that is not statedin the constitution. Presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, AndrewJackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklyn D. Roosevelt, are just a few of the majorpresidents who acted independently instead of following the specific laws of theconstitution. There also many committees that were never mentioned the constitution,such as The Cabinet, The National Security Council, and the White House Staff. Thesecommittees advise the president and help him make his decisions. There are a some waysthat congress and the courts can override decisions made by the president. The congressis the last word in disputes with the president, as it is described in the constitution. The presidents powers in the constitution are stated; however, there is many holesand more questions than answers after reading the document. The main powers given thepresident are as follows.Implement policy, Supervise the executive branch of government, Appoint and removeexecutive officials, Prepare executive budget for submission to congress, Initiate policy,Veto Legislation passed by congress, Convene special session of Congress, Command thearmed forces, Appoint military officials, Grant reprieves and pardons, Represent the nationas chief of state, and appoint federal court and Supreme Court judges.There are some historical examples of major presidents making changes, or not followingthe constitution. George Washington issued the Proclamation of Neutrality during the warbetween France and Britain following the French Revolution. By doing this he establishedthe presidents power to make foreign policy. Thomas Jefferson, purchased the Louisianaterritory despite the fact that no where in the constitution does it say anything aboutbuying land. Abraham Lincoln established the precedent of vigorous presidential action innational emergencies, declaring martial law in parts of the country, and writting theEmancipation Proclamation. Lincoln did all this without backing from congress, or theconstitution. As you can see presidents have been getting around the laws of theconstitution since the first presidents, making up rules as they go. The president of the United States has used the lack of policy in the constitution toacquire help for making major decisions and help promote there policies. The Cabinet isan example of this. The Cabinet is never mentioned in the constitution, they have no real
power, this group is made up of secretaries of the executive departments and others thepresident may designate, such as the vice-president, the Ambassador to the UnitedNations, and the Director of the CIA. The Cabinet really does not make any decisions forthe president, he usually just uses them to help premote a new idea or views. TheNational Security Council, is another example of a committee that the president has made. This committee does help the president make decisions in coordinating foreign, defense,and intelligence activities. The White House Staff is a group that the president also usesto help advise him on issues. The first staff was implemented by president Roosevelt, hehad 12 brains to help him. Now there are a couple hundred staff members helping to withadvice on things such as national security and congressional affairs. The constitution ofthe united states may seem vague in some areas, but one thing is made perfectly clear, Thecongress has the last word if there are any disputes with the president. The only real way to stop the president from doing something unjust or justridiculous, one must go back to the constitution and look a bit closer. There are manyways for the congress to stop the president from making new policy or doing somethingunjust. The congress can override the president s veto of legislation if it can gettwo-thirds vote in both houses. The Congress can impeach and remove the president fromoffice. Only the congress can appropriate money. Major presidential appointmentsrequire Senate confirmation. The president is obliged by the Constitution to take carethat the laws be faithfully executed this is talking about the laws of congress, no matterhow he or she feels of these laws. By having these specific rules in the constitution, thecongress is positioned to dominate the American government. As you can see the President of the United States has many routes he can take toget around the vague constitution. The President has been making up new rules and lawsas they go since the first Presidents. The President has also used the lack of policies in theconstitution to make special groups of people to help him make decisions or get backingfor his ideas. The Cabinet, the National Security Council, and the White House Staff areall examples of this. Finally it has been shown that no matter what the President does, itcan be changed in one way or another by the Congress, by either over ruling the veto bythe president, or impeaching the President. I have decided that it is a good idea that theconstitution is vague in these areas, by doing this we can easily change rules or policieswith times and situations that the country is in. I feel that it is also a good thing that finalpower is left in the hands of congress, this is another example of checks and balances inthe constitution. The congress is supposed to represent the people of the United States. That is why I feel it is important they have the last word, and not one man.