Chapter 11 Notes Essay

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Chapter 11 Notes
Powers of Congress
Section 1
The Expressed Powers of Money and Commerce
1. What powers over money and commerce does the Constitution give to Congress and what limits does it put on these powers?
a. The commerce power gives Congress the authority to regulate interstate and foreign trade, but not trade within a state
b. Congress has the power to tax income and imported goods, but not exports
c. Congress can set bankruptcy laws
d. Congress can coin and print money
2. Delegated Powers
a. There are 3 types of powers granted by the Constitution
Article I gives 27 powers to Congress
b. Constitution also denies many powers to Congress, banning some and reserving others to states 3. Gibbons vs. Ogden
a. The court interpreted commerce to include all commercial exchanges between nations and parts of nations, not just buying and selling of goods
b. This broad interpretation of commerce leaves many questions that Congress and the courts must continue to answer with new laws and rulings
4. The Commerce Clause
a. The Articles of Confederation made Congress weak and they had no power to regulate interstate trade and they had little authority over foreign commerce
b. The 1780’s were marked by intense commercial rivalries among the States. High trade barriers and spiteful State laws created chaos and confusion
c. The circumstances led the Framers to write the Commerce Clause into the Constitution
5. The Commerce Power
a. The federal government gains grant power from the broad interpretation of the commerce power b. There are limits to the commerce power
Congress cannot tax exports, favor the ports of one state over another, or require vessels to pay duties when traveling from one state to another ii. The commerce power is even used to ban discrimination in public businesses
6. Americans with Disabilities Act
a. Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
Prohibits against discrimination against people with disabilities in areas such as employment, public accommodation, public transportation, and access to commercial buildings 7. The Power to Tax
a. Most government taxes on people or property are levied to raise money for public needs
8. Taxation
a. A protective tariff taxes imports to protect domestic industries from foreign competition
b. Some taxes, often in the form of licenses, are meant to protect public health and safety
c. 3 reasons the government collects taxes
9. Limits on taxation
a. Congress can tax only for public needs, not the benefit of private businesses or individuals
b. Congress cannot tax exports
c. Direct taxes, except for income taxes, must be divided among the states in proportion to their population d. All indirect taxes levied by the federal government must be uniform, or the same, across the
United states
An indirect tax is one in which one person pays the tax then passes along the cost of the tax to others. This is done by charging them higher prices for the good or service that is taxed
10. Borrowing
a. There is no constitutional limit on how much money Congress can borrow or for what purposes b. The Treasury borrows money by issuing securities like T­bills and bonds that it promises to repay later with interest
c. Congress routinely spends more than it takes in, borrowing money to make up the difference.
The deficit spending increases the public debt
11. Currency
a. Congress now has the power to create legal currency in the United States. This creates a more stable economy
Congress did not create legal paper money until 1862 ii. This power to print money was challenged in the courts but finally upheld by the
Supreme Court in 1871 and 1884

Section 2
The Other Expressed Powers
1. Foreign Policy
a. The President is the main authority in foreign affairs
b. Congress does have some key powers involving foreign policy