The Power and Significance of Congress Essay examples

The Power and Significance of Congress Essay examples

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The Power and Significance of Congress

Firstly it is important to look at the power and significance of
congress as a legislative body. This includes the creation of law, and
the scrutiny of the executive. Because the US federal system is ruled
by 'separation of powers', it is important that the legislative -
congress - acts as a good check and restraint on the executive - the
president.

The most significant power that congress has is to create and pass
legislation. Most of the creation is down to congressional committees
- specialist groups of congressman who revise and investigate laws
into their own committee's interests, for example The House Science
Committee. Some of the legislation can come from the president
directly, however it is congress that filter's it, so in theory the
president's proposed bill could never be heard in either house.
Constitutional ammendments also work in this way, a president can
suggest them, but only congress can initiate them.

During the process of a bill becoming a law, congress plays a huge
part. Both houses have the first reading, committee stage, the time
tabling, the second and third reading before it heads to a conference
committee. This reconcile's the differences between the House and the
Senate versions of the bill. If the bill passes through these stages,
only then can the president have his say, and the actions he can take
are to sign it, leave it on his desk or veto it. However, the
constitution gives the power to both houses to overturn the
presidential veto with a two-thirds majority in both houses. So if a
bill was hugely popular and got the two-thirds in both houses after
b...


... middle of paper ...


...ibly important that they maintain this relationship.

A lot of the time it is a simple trade of legislation, or the addition
of something that both sides can agree on. Or it can be a simple
persuasion, a president can try and go against the will of the
opposition majority party in congress by persuading a lot of it's
members to vote for his bill, and get it passed. Most presidents don't
have this sort of power, and even if they do, congressman expect
something in return, often for him not to veto their legislation, and
either sign it or leave it on their desk.

In conclusion, the power and significance of congress is variable
under circumstances, but it is typically great in domestic issues, and
fairly weak in foreign ones. It's significance is always great in the
law making process, however variable it is elsewhere.

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