The Politics of Shared Power: Congress and the Executive

By Louis Fisher | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
President as Legislator

To a literalist, the Constitution limits the president to two forms of legislative activity: (1) the right to recommend to Congress such measures "as he shall judge necessary and expedient" and (2) the power to veto a bill. To this list can be added the president's power (shared with the Senate) to make treaties, which the Constitution defines as part of "the supreme Law of the Land." A fourth source of influence, which has been exercised on rare occasions in the past, permits him to convene both houses or either of them. In case they disagree on the time of adjournment, the president can adjourn them "to such Time as he shall think proper."1

The Supreme Court has held that in the "framework of our Constitution the President's power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker." According to this view the Constitution limits the president's functions in the lawmaking process to "the recommending of laws he thinks wise and the vetoing of laws he thinks bad."2 And yet superimposed upon the president's express constitutional authorities are other legislative powers either implied in the Constitution or developed by custom (often with the blessing of the courts). Some of these legislative powers are expressly delegated by Congress to the president and the executive agencies. Others result from agency regulations, presidential proclamations, and executive orders.

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The Politics of Shared Power: Congress and the Executive
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Preface XI
  • Chapter 1 - Constitutional Underpinnings 3
  • Chapter 2 - President as Legislator 23
  • Chapter 3 - Congress as Administrator 68
  • Chapter 4 - Bureaucracy: Agent of Congress or the President? 106
  • Chapter 5 - The Independent Regulatory Commission: Mahomet's Coffin 146
  • Chapter 6 - War Powers and Foreign Affairs 177
  • Chapter 7 - Budgetary Control 218
  • Notes 257
  • Selected Bibliography 293
  • Index of Cases 299
  • Index 303
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