Major Controversies Regarding The Powers Of The American Congress

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Some major controversies regarding the powers of the American Congress Shutdowns In very simple terms, the federal government shutdown refers to a situation in which the executive is barred from spending as Congress has failed to approve funds for such spending by the scheduled time. Normally, shutdowns result from the fact that majority of the members of Congress are not convinced by the proposed budget of the executive for the succeeding fiscal year. Such a freeze on spending usually starts from non-essential services. It was under President General Ford in 1976 that the first shutdown occurred. Since then there have been about 17 other shutdowns. The highlight of my personal experience with shutdowns was during the Clinton days in…show more content…
Those were difficult days that recorded filibusters of a kind that can only be described as poisonous. In December, 1995, I took a proposal to the President which sought to impress on him to see things from the cost of the shutdown to the taxpayer in the short term and assess whether it was fair. I sent a similar proposal to the Republicans and asked them to come up with a plan that can save the taxpayer the cost of the shutdown in the short term or get to the negotiations table and cut President Clinton some slack. I am happy to say that my decision to bring in the perspective of the cost of the shutdowns made a lot of impression on the Republican congressmen. Shutdowns are almost impossible in the UK due to the fact that the ruling party or coalition almost always has a majority in parliament. As a congressman I was always afraid of shutdowns after 1995 and as such, always moved to provide advice to the government on how to build stronger consensus and take a long time perspective to getting fiscal budgets passed by Congress. Ratification The second issue is regarding the Senate’s power to get international treaties ratified or otherwise. As a dualist state, the treaties that are signed by the President can only become part of American law if the Senate by two-thirds majority agree to support it. In Congressional history, ratification has been used as a tool to ensure that the President does not get America into agreements that
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