What powers does a President have?
Within the executive branch itself, the president (if in office) has broad powers to manage national affairs and the workings of the federal government. The president can issue rules, regulations, and instructions called executive orders, which have the binding force of law upon federal agencies but do not require congressional approval.
The president has several options when presented with a bill from Congress. If he agrees with the bill, then it is signed into law within ten days of receipt. If the president opposes the bill, he can veto it and return the legislation to Congress with a veto message suggesting changes.
Before taking office, the president-elect must appoint more than 6,000 new federal positions. The appointments range from top officials at U.S. government agencies, to the White House Staff, and members of the United States diplomatic corps. Many, but not all, of these positions are appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the United States Senate.
Article II of the United States Constitution gives the president the power of clemency. The two most commonly used clemency powers are those of pardon and commutation. A pardon is an official forgiveness for an acknowledged crime. Once a pardon is issued, all punishment for the crime is waived. The person accepting the pardon must, however, acknowledge that the crime did take place.The president maintains the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice to review all requests for pardons. Most pardons are issued as oversight of the judicial branch, especially in cases where the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are considered too severe. Pardons are controversial when they appear to be politically motivated.
Under the Constitution, the president is the federal official that is primarily responsible for the relations of the United States with foreign nations. The president appoints ambassadors, ministers, and consuls —subject to confirmation by the Senate—and receives foreign ambassadors and other public officials. With the secretary of state, the president manages all official contacts with foreign governments.
Over the years, Presidents have claimed to have emergency powers in times of crisis. These Inherent Powers have been used both at home and overseas. The most common use of emergency powers is to declare a state of emergency which allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to bypass normal administrative and jurisdictional rules. Declarations of emergency can also provide special federal aid such as during the Flood of 1993 along the Mississippi River or in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. President Abraham Lincoln used his emergency powers to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland during the American Civil War. President Harry Truman was also denied emergency powers by the Court in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer when he tried to nationalize the nation's steel mills.
Executive privilege gives the president the ability to withhold information from the public, Congress, and the courts in matters of national security. George Washington first claimed privilege when Congress requested to see Chief Justice John Jay's notes from an unpopular treaty negotiation with Great Britain. While not enshrined in the Constitution, Washington's action created the precedent for privilege. When Richard Nixon tried to use executive privilege as a reason for not turning over subpoenaed evidence to Congress for the Watergate hearings, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Nixon that privilege did not apply in cases where a president was attempting to avoid criminal prosecution. Later President Bill Clinton lost in federal court when he tried to assert privilege in the Lewinsky affair. The Supreme Court affirmed this in Clinton v. Jones, which denied the use of privilege in cases of civil suits.
Achievements in office
Designed his signature "Great…