How Powerful Is The President Of The United States?

1441 WordsApr 10, 20176 Pages
How powerful is the President of the United States? The president of the United States can use his executive privilege to initiate changes. That unilateral power is not without limits. Congress is needed to pass laws and Congress is not always cooperative, even if the president’s party has the majority in Congress as it was observed recently regarding the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act of 2010 with the American Health Care Act of 2017. We have an independent judiciary that can determine the constitutionality of a law passed by Congress or an executive order signed by the president. The president is taking advantage of his ability to use executive orders to bypass Congressional gridlock…show more content…
Executive orders and signing statements, however, challenge the Congress’s ability to be a check to the executive branch. Signing statements give the president the ability to declare a portion of a law passed by Congress as unconstitutional. As Cookson reminds us, the American model is not one intended for one branch to be too powerful. (Cookson, 1997) Nevertheless, executive orders enable the president to achieve his policy goals by other means, if Congress is not cooperative. Presidents must win the Electoral College to be the president. Maintaining the “goodwill” is not an easy task. It is even harder when a president assumes the awesome responsibilities of the presidency at a time of great uncertainty. Presidents lose the public’s support and Congress may withhold its support from an unpopular president in which case the president’s next viable move is using his executive privilege through executive orders or signing statements. Inconstant political support leads to a problem of a political authority to the president. Skowronek defines political authority in his 1997 book as “the expectations that surround the exercise of power at a given moment; the perception of what is appropriate for a given president to do.” (Schier, 2011) Skowronek’s point here is that the president is limited in terms of what he can do based on a given circumstance. Executive orders are not necessarily issued as a command, but as a form of
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