The Cabinet and Politics: II
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