The United States Congress is the legislative branch of our government made up by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Our Congress, just as all branches of our government, derives its power from the US Constitution, specifically Article 1 section 8 which outlines the specific enumerated powers of Congress. This Article also outlines the implied powers of Congress. These implied powers include all things which are deemed necessary in order for Congress to carry out the jobs assigned to it by their enumerated powers.
There are several powers expressly given to Congress in Article 1 of the constitution. These expressed powers are basically a laundry list of Congressional duties. These include, but are not limited to, the power to lay and collect taxes, the power to borrow money on behalf of the United States credit, the power to coin money and regulate it's value, the power to declare war, the power to raise and support armies, the power to establish post offices and postal roads and the power to regulate commerce between the states, as well as with the Indian tribes and with foreign nations. These powers were given at this level of government by our forefather because they are important items that must be regulated at the national level. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if each state was able to coin it's own money and set the value themselves. While Congress may be responsible for things of great importance to our security and national economy “no one of the powers transferred to the federal government is unnecessary or improper”(Federalist No.45) and“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” (Federalist No.45). This helps to ensure that Congress' power is k...
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...ng to our benefit. Congress has several important and express responsibilities and while at times they may attempt to flex those powers in ways we don't agree with, or take the necessary and proper clause a little too liberally, we the people are always free to challenge them and utilize the powers given to us as free citizens to help decide how far those powers can really extend.
James Madison, The Federalist No. 45. Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered. Independent Journal Saturday, January 26, 1788
U.S. Constitution, article 1, section 8 clause 1
Gibbons v Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824) Retrieved from http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0022_0001_ZO.html
McCulloch v Maryland. 17 U.S. 316 (1819) Retrieved from http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0017_0316_ZS.html
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