• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Power and Significance Of Congress

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the Power and Significance of Congress The Founding Fathers undoubtedly originally intended Congress to be the most powerful branch of government. It was the first branch defined in the Constitution, and they also used it to settle the debate between smaller and larger states over representation. It was given significant checks on the other two branches, and elastic clauses were also added in order to make Congress the most powerful branch. However, in recent years many critics have argued that Congress has let the President hold too much power, and that it has become a reactive body to the President rather than a proactive body that successfully carries out representation, passing legislation and oversight. There are also different views of the work that Congress does from fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, liberals and moderates, and each view has different positive and negative points about Congress. However, it is clear that Congress will always have critics due to the wide spectrum of political views in the USA, and ultimately it is still a fairly powerful and significant body. Arguably Congress's most important function is representation. ...read more.

Middle

As well as this, even bills proposed by the President himself can be stopped by Congress, such as Bill Clinton's Health Bill in 1993 failing to get past the committee stage. However, it can be argued that the heavy scrutiny of legislation is positive as it confirms that only the best standard of legislation will get through Congress. As well as this, many centrepiece bills are often forced through by the president, especially if his party is in power in Congress as well. For instance, to repeal he policy "Don't ask, Don't tell" was pushed through at the end of the 111th Congress by Obama as he felt it was one of his most important policies and wished to pass it before the Republicans took control of the House of Representative in the 112th Congress, after the midterms. Another example of this is Obama's healthcare reform, which was passed 56-43 in the Senate and 219-212 in the House after Obama had used the "Nuclear Option" of the budget reconciliation procedure to prevent the loss of a cloture vote in the Senate. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fiscal conservatives will argue that Congress passes too much legislation that encourages and forms costly programmes and initiatives that the country does not need, such as No Child Left Behind (implemented by Bush) and Obama's fiscal stimulus. Fiscal conservatives want small government, with increased oversight on domestic policy (and less on foreign policy) and a reduced legislative function, and as such support gridlock. However, social conservatives will argue that the government has a role to play in encouraging moral values in society, and as such they will support a strong legislative function on certain issues along with increased oversight. Liberals on the other hand, will argue that Congress needs to be more active in promoting new legislation in order to protect the disadvantaged and those who can not help themselves, and as such support social programmes like Obama's healthcare reform. Similarly, Liberals support increased oversight on both foreign and domestic grounds, arguing the "American Exceptionally" is not a valid concept, something that conservatives will tend to disagree with. Finally moderates will be fairly please with Congress, arguing that it reacts quickly in crisis while scrutinising effectively when possible, carefully considering the issues. As such it is clear that there are multiple views, and there is not necessarily a right answer, and instead it will differ depending on your political view. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United States essays

  1. US pressures groups are undemocratic, discuss

    Although few people would deny that pressure groups play an important role in US politics, critics have argued that this role may not be the one suggested by the pluralist model. Pressure groups therefore can also threaten democracy in a number of ways, with some claiming that they are merely a 'necessary evil'.

  2. Assess the power and significance of congress.

    This is a huge power, if congress can make law basically without president's approval then it's significance is huge. This is also a major constraint on presidential power if there are united houses, because the president would find it hard to pass law, and counter laws that he didn't want.

  1. presidential power how far does it go

    The ACLU deems this an infringement on the civil liberty as there is insufficient judicial oversight is in place to preclude abuse. Section 505(a) of the Patriot Act allows for an expansion in the use of National Security Letters, to be issued without a court order.

  2. Using Suetonius and Res Gestae, assess how effective Octavian was in enlisting Senatorial Support ...

    Augustus, therefore, needed the right to appoint legates, make war, and conclude treaties. Augustus now aimed to resemble a magistrate- he had a plain house and the only insignia he carried was that of a Consul. However his proconsular imperium did not give him jurisdiction in Italy or Rome.

  1. Where Power Lies in Congress

    The Senate choosing the Vice-President) in an electoral tie, and furthermore the House is the only chamber which can actually bring about the removal of the Executive in the first place via impeachment. The House is also known for a much stronger party unity, for example the existence of the House Rules Committee which symbolises this.

  2. Overpaid and Underworked: Plight of the Canadian Senate

    The fact that hockey players were asked to join the Senate is indicative that the standards for education and experience are not key criteria.4 Considered in the upper echelon of political experience and merit, there is no position apart from the President with as much power and prestige as the American Senator.

  1. Ethnic minorities in the USA

    The House of Representatives is elected every two years and although Senators are each elected for six years, one-third of the Senate is elected every two years. This means the President can be elected along with a friendly Congress dominated by his own party, but two years later at the

  2. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both have different viewpoints and proposals when it comes ...

    Romney vetoed the employer penalty for not providing health insurance, but employers should be penalized; anyone that?s working for a certain company should be entitled to health care.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work