Analysis Of Richard Neustadt 's The American System

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Introduction Richard Neustadt had famously asserted that the American system is one of “separated institutions sharing powers”, this implies a hopeful sense of cooperation between the three branches of government (cited in Andres et Thurber, 2000:554). However, political realities led scholars to dispute Neustadt’s claim, proclaiming the system as “separate institutions competing for power” (Murphy, 2007:9). Political paralysis, particularly between the US president and Congress, has become increasingly common in the modern era. “President proposes, Congress disposes” famously sloganised the relationship between the two institutions (Johannes, 1974). Many scholars attributed this strained relationship to the constitutional design (Edward…show more content…
In modern presidencies, increasing partisanship and political ideologies have become a critical component in a divided government, thus accentuating the hardship of modern presidents in cooperating Congress. In addition, the reforms to congressional powers and the adoption of new laws have bolstered Congress’ influence in the legislative arena, this in turn make it more difficult for the President to govern Congress in an already strained relationship. Constitutional Ambiguities and Internal Fragmentation The Framers of the Constitution intended Congress to be the most important institution (McKay, 2013:161) thereby “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives” (Article 1, Section 1). The Framers bestowed both houses with significant powers, namely the power of the purse, executive oversight and investigation, and the exclusive power to declare war (Baritono, 2014:4). On the other hand, the President is vested with executive power, responsible for faithfully executing laws (Article II, Section 3). As the chief executive, commander-in-chief, and chief diplomat, the President has the power to make treaties and to nominate and appoint federal positions (Article II, Section 2). With regards to legislative power, presidents are chief legislators. According to the Constitution, presidents have the
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