Checks by the Executive on the Legislature
-Recommends Legislation – does this in the State of the union Address in January each year, outlining and focusing on key issues and policy areas, laying out his legislative agenda. The president does this in front of Congress, cabinet member, the Supreme Court and on television. George W. Bush in 2002 focused on the ‘war on terrorism’ and budget priorities.
-Veto Legislation –George W. Bush used the regular veto on 11 occasions during his 8 years in office. One was the veto of the State Children’s Heath Insurance Programme (S-CHIP) 2007. President Truman used the veto over many major bills like the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947.
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In 2007, Democrat controlled Congress attempted to limit Bush’s spending on the military operations in Iraq.
-Although president is ‘commander-in-chief’ of army, it confers on Congress the power to declare war (The power seems to have fallen into disuse as it has not happened since 1941 declaring war on Japan). Congress makes Presidents seek specific authorisation before committing troops to hostile situations. Like Bush did in October 2002.
-Senate has power to ratify treaties negotiated by President. Like the USUK Extradition Treaty in 2006.
-Senate alone confirms many appointments president makes to executive and all to judiciary. Simple majority required for confirmation, rejection rare. It rejected Ronnie White 1999 to the US District trial court. Harriet Miers 2005 had to withdraw nomination when met with widespread criticism by Republican senators, extraordinary as criticism was from one party.
-Impeachment, seen as ultimate check by House of Representatives, as president can’t remove Congress. Two have been impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Simple majority needed by House before Senate conducts a trial, in which two-thirds majority needed then. June 2008, house voted...