Legislative & Budget Making Powers

Legislative & Budget Making Powers
Legislative Powers
• President has veto power, as we know
• Only about 3% (!) of Presidential vetoes have ever
been overridden
• Presidential signing statements have also attracted
– George W. Bush and Detainee Treatment Act of 2005
• Executive orders sometimes used for a quasilegislative purpose
– Executive Order 9066 paved the way for JapaneseAmerican internment
The Legislative Veto
• Joint (both houses) and concurrent (one house)
resolutions had been used to veto executive actions
– Checks President’s power, asserts Congress’s will,
controls bureaucracy
• INS v. Chadha
– Immigration & Nationality Act allowed a one-House veto
of executive actions
– Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional because of
separation of powers
The Budget Process
• Presidents usually get their budgets approved
• If the federal budget is not passed and signed the
government shuts down
• A continuing resolution is a temporary budget
appropriation that can keep the government operating
beyond the fiscal year
• Government shut down in 1995 when President Clinton
and the Republican-controlled Congress couldn’t agree
on a budget
– Affected public opinion of both, probably damaged
Republicans more
• Almost happened again in 2011
The Budget Process
• Presidents used to be able to impound, or refuse
to spend, funds appropriated by Congress
– Jefferson was first to use this power
• Congress considered this too much power to give
the President, and passed the Budget and
Impoundment Control Act of 1974.
• Effectively took away the power of Presidents to
• Congress gains back power previously lost to the
• Created Congressional Budget Office and gave
Congress its own economic advisors
The Budget Process
• Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget Act was
another Congressional attempt to reassert power
• Forced the government to make automatic cuts in
military and other federal programs if it ran a deficit
– Exempted Social Security and interest on the debt
• Reagan signed the bill
• Court found system for determining automatic cuts
unconstitutional in Bowsher v. Synar
• Rewritten as Budget Enforcement Act of 1990
• Failed to prevent large deficits