The President's Cabinet: An Analysis in the Period from Wilson to Eisenhower

By Richard F. Fenno | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
The Cabinet and Politics: II

PRESEDENT, CABINET, AND CONGRESS

a. The Cabinet Member in the Legislative-Executive Context

T HE executive and legislative branches of the government interact within a constitutional framework, which provides for independent bases of power but a sharing of decision-making authority. The President is given the constitutional authority to send messages to Congress, to "recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient," to call special sessions, to exercise a veto power over legislation, and to control certain aspects of our foreign relations. The Congress, on the other hand, has the legal authority to set up executive departments and agencies, to appropriate money for the executive branch, to confirm presidential appointments, to conduct investigations in the executive branch, and to share with the President the control and conduct of foreign relations. This is by no means a complete catalogue of the points of formal contact, but it is sufficient to show the basis of the President's role as Chief Legislator and the basis of congressional control over the executive branch.

Threaded through and around the formal legal structure are a whole set of informal, less visible relationships which help to shape the character of the President's legislative relations. The subtle threat of a veto, a well-timed distribution of patronage, personal confidence or hostility -- all these may be decisive in the making of a legislative decision favorable to the Chief Legislator. Interpersonal contact between the President and legislative

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The President's Cabinet: An Analysis in the Period from Wilson to Eisenhower
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Harvard Political Studies i
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter One The Cabinet in Perspective 9
  • Chapter Two The Appointment Process 51
  • Chapter Three - The Cabinet Meeting: 1 88
  • Chapter Four - The Cabinet Meeting: II 131
  • Chapter Five - The Cabinet and Politics: I 157
  • Chapter Six - The Cabinet and Politics: II 196
  • Chapter Seven - The Cabinet and Reform 250
  • Notes 273
  • Index 313
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