Story, Dale                                                                                                                                                        3/21/2014
POLS  2311


      1. Presidential Powers
        1. Constitutional—Decisions that strengthen the presidency:  separate executive; one person is chief executive and head-of-state; fixed terms; initially indefinite re-election (changed in 1951).  Powers that strengthen the presidency:  Commander-in-Chief; negotiate and sign treaties; presidential appointments; State of the Union Address; convene Congress; pardons/reprieves (Nixon, by Ford; Marc Rich, $50mn tax evasion by Clinton; Patty Hearst, SLA, by Clinton; Caspar Weinberger, Sec’t. of Defence, illegal arms sales, by George H.W. Bush; Scooter Libby, advisor to Cheney, George W. Bush commuted the prison sentence, but no pardon was issued); recommend legislation; veto; implement/execute the laws.
        2. Informal or persuasive.  Sets the legislative agenda for Congress.  Initiates the budget.  “Lead” the country.  Varies:  FDR/Reagan or Carter/Bush.
      1. Limitations or Constraints on Power
        1. Congressional.  Senate approval of appointments/treaties; override veto by 2/3 vote in both houses; oversight.
        2. Popular accountability.  Elections.  Polls.
        3. Events beyond the control of the president.  Negatives and positives:  Carter and Iranian hostages or Bush & 9/11.
      1. Recent Controversies over Presidential Power
        1. War-making—Congress power to declare war vs. President’s power as commander-in-chief.  Last “declaration of war” was WWII.  Why Presidents claim they are constrained by this Congressional prerogative.  Conflict reached an apex during the Vietnam War.  In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Act (over Nixon’s veto)—an effort to mediate between Congressional approval for entering war and President’s need to act swiftly and secretly in many situations.  War Powers Act said that the President could act unilaterally to commit armed forces to military action—but only for 60 days (and 30 more days allowed as a withdrawal period).  After that point, the President would need either a declaration of war or an authorization by Congress to continue the military action.
        2. Impoundment—President refuses to expend money that has been appropriated by Congress.  Available to presidents since 1801.  1974 act of Congress greatly limited this power.  Similar to a “line item veto?”
        3. Executive privilege and Executive orders
          1. Executive privilege—Nixon and Watergate tapes—Clinton aides called to testify in Lewinsky scandal—Under Bush:  Cheney asked to testify about meetings with energy officials; information about the death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan (friendly fire?); subpoena of Karl Rove for firing of federal prosecutors.
          2. Executive orders.  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (UCIS and Obama’s remarks, June 15, 2012)?
      1. Presidential Personality
        1. Need to understand the individual personality of Presidents
        2. Weak and strong presidents—Weak not necessarily worse:  less assertive, more likely to include Congress (Madison and Monroe yielded to Congress; Taft was opposite of T. Roosevelt and left matters to Congress; Hoover; Eisenhower; Ford was specifically low-key after Nixon; Carter).  Strong:  more assertive, tends to ignore Congress more (Lincoln and unilateral actions in Civil War; T. Roosevelt as trust-buster and Big Stick Diplomacy; Wilson being persistent in foreign affairs; FDR with New Deal and WWII; Truman with seizure of steel mills, using the nuclear bomb, and the Korean War; JFK and pioneering civil rights legislation; Nixon with Vietnam and Watergate).
        3. Typology of presidential character—James David Barber added another dimension of job satisfaction (positive or negative).  Positive felt very good about their efforts and accomplishments.  Negative was paranoid, defensive, and secluded.  Two examples:  Nixon as negative (led to Watergate) and Reagan as positive (the Great Communicator).
      1. Presidential Selection
        1. Nominations.  Long process.  Few participate.  Primaries and caucuses at different times—preceded by months of campaigning.  Contrast between the nominating process (fewer involved and more “true-believer” participants) and the general election (more voters and more moderate voters).
        2. Electoral college.  Originally state legislators choose the “electors” who selected the President in a winner-take-all division of the states.  Reformed to eliminate the state legislatures.  Today the voters in each state elect a “slate” of electors, who than vote for the President in December.  Problems:  win the popular vote, but lose the electoral college.
      1. Organization of the Executive Branch--click for current Cabinet--know the names of the current heads of State, Defense, Justice, and Treasury
        1. White House Staff—closest and most loyal advisors, do not require Senate confirmation (Chief of Staff, Press Secretary, etc.).
        2. Executive Office—similar to White House Staff, but typically head “councils”—most do not require Senate confirmation.  National Security Council, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Trade Representative, etc.
        3. Cabinet—“Inner”:  State, Defense, Justice, Treasury (Best and the Brightest).
          1. Examples (circa 2012):
            1. State, Hillary Clinton, Yale Law School, First Lady, US Senator, Candidate for President in Democratic Primaries
            2. Defense, Robert Gates, Master’s in History Indiana University, PhD in Russian History Georgetown, CIA Director, President Texas A&M, Secretary of Defense for Bush and Obama.. REPLACED by Leon Panetta in 2011, native of California, BA in POLS and law degree from Santa Clara College, some 16 years in the House, chaired House Budget Committee, Director of OMB and Chief of Staff to Clinton, director of CIA and Sec’t of Defense under Obama.
            3. Justice, Eric Holder, Deputy Attorney General under Clinton, Columbia Law School, clerked for NAACP, began career in Justice in 1976.
            4. Treasury, Timothy Geithner, John Hopkins MA in International Economy and East Asia, began in Treasury in 1988, President of New York Federal Reserve Board
        4. Federal bureaucracy—vast array of non-appointed employees of the Executive Branch.  Policy-making role through discretion in implementation of legislation.  Patronage or “spoils system”—prior to 1883 many federal employees were appointed by the President—but than the Civil Service was created to hire, fire, evaluate, etc. federal employees according to merit (Pendleton Act).  Reform went even further with the 1939 Hatch Act that emphasized the prohibition of partisan political activity by federal employees.
        5. Order of Succession--know the positions and names through Secretary of State. Including President Pro Tempore of Senate.
        6.  Vice-President—major importance is in the succession to the President.  Also President of the Senate (votes in cases of ties).  25th Amendment (1967) provided for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice-President
      1. Presidential Roles
        1. Chief of State—Official and formal representative of the nation.  Akin to the role of the monarchy in Great Britain.
        2. Chief diplomat—ebbs and flows, Indo-China as example
          1. 1954, Dienbienphu, President is limited by Congress (which rejected unilateral U.S. action to “save” the French in IndoChina
          2. 1964, Tonkin Gulf, Congress rubber-stamps Presidential military authority in Southeast Asia (President Johnson given authority to engage U.S. troops in Vietnam).  Reaction to an alleged attack by the North Vietnamese on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin—much of the veracity of the initial report to Congress has been called into question. 
          3. 1970, Cambodia, Cooper-Church Amendment, Congress constrains President (precursor to War Powers Act).  Moderately successful effort by Congress to end Nixon’s expansion of the war into Cambodia.
        3. Chief legislator—sets Congressional—initiates legislation (“recommend” per the Constitution).  State of the Union Address.  Budget Message.  Economic Report.
        4. Party chief—leader of his/her political party
        5. Chief administrator—most obvious role of implementing legislation, but can be most challenging (“unmanageable” bureaucracy, agencies may have independent alliances, etc.).
      1. Resources
        1. Congressional votes, members, party break-down, Washington Post
        2. Congressional votes, GovTrack
        3. Congressional Record, Library of Congress
      1. Congress and Local Elites—Representatives and Senators closer to local than national issues.  Relevant constituency is not the general electorate in their district/state but local elites—the activists who contribute, work in campaigns, communicate with the Congress-person.  Most people know little about Congress.  Who is your Congressional Representative?
      2. Legislator’s Backgrounds—Education, professions (particular one?), income, gender, ethnicity, religion
      3. Role Perceptions—Trustee (own judgment); Delegate (represents position of constituents); Partisan (party position), Politico (combination of all three).
      4. Elections and Incumbency—advantages include name recognition; mail privileges; public exposure; “pork barrel;”  assist individual constituents; expenditures for travel, office, etc.
      5. Powers Vis-à-vis the Executive Branch—“all legislatives powers shall be vested in a Congress;” Article 1, Section 8; BUT, the relationship between the two branches has evolved into the President setting the agenda and Congress reacting to Presidential initiatives.
      6. Legislative Functions—Law-making (but reacting—in some cases, 80% of all legislation comes from the President); and Supervising the Executive Branch (investigations and oversight.
      7. How a Bill Becomes Law and narrative and cartoon
        1. House— Referred to Standing Committee, to Sub-Committee, back to Standing Committee, to Rules Committee, to “Floor”
        2. Senate—Referred to Standing Committee, to Sub-Committee, back to Standing Committee, to “Floor.”
        3. If the House and Senate versions are different, to Conference Committee to reach a common compromise, back to Floor of each chamber.
        4. Once the same bill is passed by both chambers, to President for signature or veto.  If vetoed, may be overridden by 2/3 vote in both chambers.
      1. Committee System
        1. 4 types (Standing, 21 in H and 20 in S; Special/Select, created by a particular congress, such as Senate Watergate; Joint, Conference)
        2. Mini-legislatures—much/most work done here.  Membership apportioned/determined by party.  Most impt:  House—Rules, Appropriations, Ways & Means; Senate—Appropriations, Finance, Foreign Relations
        3. Committee Assignments—by Party, selected by party committees and  leadership—considering expertise, experience, and seniority.
      1. Legislative Reform
        1. Seniority for chairs of committees and members (argument for focuses on apolitical nature of seniority; argument against focuses on merit and concentration of seniority in regions)
        2. Filibuster.  In Senate.  Unlimited debate.  Delaying tactic. “Veto of a minority.”  Ended by invoking cloture, previously 2/3 and now is 3/5. Ended for most appointments.
      1. Congressional Establishment-- House, larger, complex, “rowdy”, thus Rules Comm.   Senate, smaller, courtesy, decorum, inner club, country club, filibuster.
      1. Party Leadership.  House of Representatives. Senate. Know the name of the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate (hint: Vice-President of the USA), and Majority Leader of the Senate Congress is organized by parties.  Two sources of power:  party leadership and committee leadership
        1. Three party leadership posts provided by Constitution (VP or Pres. of Senate, Speaker of House, President Pro Tem of Senate)—order of succession to President. See above under Presidency (2.f.5)
          1. Speaker of the House—more formal powers than any other congress person.  Refers bills to committee, appoints conference committee, rules on procedural matters, generally directs business on floor, great influence on committee assignments (including chairs), calendar.
          2. VP as President of the Senate—much less influential than Speaker.  Essentially only votes in cases of ties.
          3. President Pro Tempore of the Senate—Senator with greatest seniority in majority party—largely symbolic and honorific.
        2. Majority, minority leaders, Whips.  Senate majority leader is Senate’s equivalent to Speaker of the House
      1. Party Voting.  Party discipline/rigor is not strong—historically, partisan voting often will occur less than 50% of cases (recently?).  No enforcement of party discipline.  Partisan votes are mostly on domestic, economic issues.  Bipartisan votes are mostly on foreign policy issues.