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

    The mere fact that we call Augustus an Emperor is sufficient information to declare his might monarchical or dictatorial. He was even called the 'first man' (Princeps)

  2. US pressures groups are undemocratic, discuss

    an open form of government, pressure groups seem to take on added importance, and benefit from the numerous access points within the political system. Pressure groups may offer further benefits to its members such as material, purposive and solidarity advantages.

  1. Where Power Lies in Congress

    Traditionally, much has been based in committees which having the power to block any piece of relevant legislation they review, and even approve Presidential impeachments and trials, at the first stages. Due to the seniority of committee membership - that is longer serving members having the chair positions - committees

  2. presidential power how far does it go

    Ashcroft under the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Further, it was also held to violate the First Amendment's rights of free speech and association. Proposals for changing these National Security Letters are under way. The 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act allowed government a reasonable delay notification of some forms of electronic communication held by a third party.

  1. Overpaid and Underworked: Plight of the Canadian Senate

    Meanwhile in the upper regions known as Canada, the Canadian founding fathers constitutionized the notion of representation by region instead of provincial representation. In theory, it sounds relatively similar to the American creation, with the exception that Quebec and Ontario were both awarded with identical number of representation, while the

  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. Ethnic minorities in the USA

    There was also the introduction of Guantanamo Bay to detain suspected foreign terrorists. Since then, there has been ongoing debate as to the extent to which these moves go against the US Constitution. In 2006 the Supreme Court introduced limits on these powers and restated its right to preserve civil liberties (freedoms)

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

    ?Dodd-Frank also asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to create additional regulation for the riskiest derivatives, like credit default swaps, and commodities futures. It also asked the SEC to recommend how the credit rating agencies, like Moody's and Standard & Poor's, could be improved? (Obama's Economic Policies).

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