-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.
Checks by the Executive on the Judiciary
-Appointment of judges – he nominates all federal judges, with Supreme Court being most important, George W. Bush was able to make two appointments – John Roberts as Chief Justice 2005 and Samuel Alito as an associate Justice in 2006. Presidents try and choose nominees whose judicial philosophy matches their own to mould the outlook of the Court.
-Power of the pardon – to pardon those who have been prosecuted etc in court cases. President Ford pardoned predecessor Nixon for any crimes he committed during the Watergate Affair. President Clinton pardoned 140 people, including March Rich, a notorious tax fugitive.
Checks by the legislature on the executive – 8 significant checks!
-Congress can amend, block or reject legislation recommended by President. In 2001 it significantly amended before passing, Bush’s Education Reform Bill. Clinton found hid flagship healthcare reforms blocked in 1993-94. 1999 Clinton’s request to raise the minimum wage was rejected.
-Congress can override president’s veto by two-thirds majority in both Houses. George W. Bush saw 4 of his 11 veto’s overridden like the 2008 Food Conservation and Energy Bill.
-Congress has ‘power of the purse’; the money presidents want to spend on his policies must be voted on by Congress. 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,