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Power’s of Congress. MR. Raymond. Limited Government. - Article One How Congress will work -Congress is given certain powers -defined in Article 1 of the Constitution Enumerated powers (listed) Implied powers (“necessary and proper” clause) -Congress is denied certain powers
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Power’s of Congress MR. Raymond
Limited Government • -Article One • How Congress will work • -Congress is given certain powers • -defined in Article 1 of the Constitution • Enumerated powers (listed) • Implied powers (“necessary and proper” clause) • -Congress is denied certain powers • -defined in Article 1 • Told what they can and cannot do When the founders created our federal government, they wanted a limited government. How did they achieve this when they drafted the plan for the Legislative Branch? What sorts of things should Congress be able to control? What sorts of things should they NOT be allowed to control? ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________
List examples of “expressive” powers… Found where?
Expressed Powers • -Expressed, Delegated, Enumerated, Exclusive the same • Congress and federal gov. only • -Powers given to Congress in Article One • -Examples: • Declare war and form army • Coin/make money • Regulate foreign trade • Regulate interstate commerce Why do you think things like declaring war, making money, and regulating trade (both inside and outside the United States) are left ONLY to the federal government? What sorts of problems might we run into if these powers were reserved? What about if they were concurrent?
Implied Powers • -Powers given to Congress by the Necessary and Proper Clause • Elastic clause - Congress can stretch powers to meet needs • -Interpretation of the Constitution • Loose interpretation • Examples: • Creating an air force • “Bailout” plan What did the Constitution say about creating an air force, searching cars, or the internet?!
Additional Powers • -Power to Investigate • Reviews laws, government activities, special investigations • -Power to Propose Amendments • By a 2/3 vote of BOTH houses • -Power to Impeach • Can charge (poss. remove) federal official with wrongdoing in office • President/Vice President/judge
Currency Power • Congress has the power “to coin Money and regulate the Value thereof.” • States are denied power • Congress created a national paper currency, “legal tender” in 1863. • Articles of Confederation • Unstable, worthless, no taxing power, 13 different currencies
Legislative Checks on the Executive (President) Overrides vetoes Impeaches the President and Vice President Approves federal judges
Legislative Checks on Judicial Approves federal judges Impeaches federal judges
Powers of the House and Senate ~The Differences~
Powers of the House • -Must start all Appropriation Bills • -”power of the purse”-- Power of the House whereby all revenue producing bills must be introduced in the House of Representatives • Closer to the people • -Picks President if no winner in Electoral College • Closer to the people • -Begins the Impeachment Process • Investigates and charges an official with misconduct in office How is having the “power of the purse” an influential power of the House of Representatives? Why do they have it? What do they use it for? How does that give them more power?
Again… • The special powers only held by the House of Representatives include… • begin impeachment proceedings • initiate bills to raise money (appropriation bills) • select president when no candidate receives sufficient electoral votes
Impeachment, charging a federal official of misconduct or wrongdoing while in office, is a two-part process. The first part of impeachment happens in the House of Representatives. The House acts as a grand jury, surveying the evidence to decide if there is enough to officially charge the official with committing something illegal. If the house finds enough evidence, they will officially charge the official. That is the impeachment. The second part of the process happens in the Senate. The Senate will hold a trial for the federal official to determine whether or not that official will be removed from office and potentially serve time in jail. The Senate, then, acts as the jury in the process. Therefore, it is possible for a President to be impeached but not removed from office. We have had two Presidents impeached, but we have never removed a President from office.
The federal officials that Congress can bring to trial include the president, vice president, and federal judges. Congress may remove these officials from office if they are found guilty of serious crime. The procedure of drawing up and passing the list of charges in the House of Representatives is called impeachment.
Powers of the Senate • -Approves Presidential Appointments • Supreme Court justices, federal judges, ambassadors - checks and balances • -Approves all Treaties • -Acts as jury in Impeachment cases • The impeachment trial occurs in the Senate A recent Senate confirmation was for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. As with all major Executive appointments she had to gain approval from the Senate. Why is it important for the Senate to approve all Presidential appointments and treaties? ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________
Again… • The special powers that only the Senate holds are…. • hold impeachment trials • select the vice president when no candidate has sufficient electoral votes • approves treaties • approve high officials
Filibuster A senator refuses to give up the floor in order to prevent a vote. If 60 senators vote to end a filibuster, a vote must be held within 30 hours. (cloture) Strom Thurmond (1957)24 hours against civil rights legislation Huey Long filibustered on behalf of the poor Is the filibuster democratic? We’ll debate this more in class!
Other Limits • -10th Amendment • Reserved powers for the states • Congress cannot interfere with reserved powers • -Checks and Balances System • Judicial can declare laws unconstitutional • President can veto laws • -Two Party System • No real power for 3rd party groups Why is it important to put limits on the laws Congress is able to pass? What is the President’s role in checking Congressional power?
The majority party is the political party that holds the most seats in either the House or the Senate
Minority party is the political party that has less seats in either the House or Senate
The Speaker of the House is always a member of the ____________party
The Speaker of the House is a position always held by the majority party. They are selected among members of the majority party who will choose their leader
End of course question • What is the meaning of the statement below? • “Congress has the power to impeach the president” • a. Congress works together with the other branches. • b. Congress can remove the president from office. • c. Congress and the president don’t get along. • d. The president has more power than Congress.
End of Course Question • The concept of Rule of Law teaches us that nobody is above the law. What can happen if a member of the legislative branch of Congress abuses his/her power and breaks the law? • a. This member of Congress is part of government therefore he can’t be punished. • b. The other members of Congress will get mad at him/her. • c. The president will punish him/her. • d. He or she can be prosecuted under the law.
Power to TAX • A charge levied by government on persons or property to raise money to meet public needs • $2.5 trillion in revenue for 2012 • Congress does not have an unlimited power to tax • Types of taxes???
Expressed Powers of Congress “Congress shall have the power to tax…” What does it mean to tax? Taking public $ for government use. Why is it important? Pays for many public services that serve and protect citizens. (Schools, Roads, Military, etc..)
Power to Tax Where does our money go?
Power to Tax – Cont. Types of taxes (con’t) 2. Direct Taxes- paid by the person they are levied against. Examples: Income Tax • Indirect Taxes- paid by one person and • passed on to another. Examples: Sales Tax
Taxes Cont. – Tariffs Power to tax (con’t) Types of taxes 1. Tariffs- taxes levied against imported goods What is the goal? To encourage the buying of American made products, since foreign products will be more expensive.
Power to Borrow • No constitutional limits on the amount of money that Congress may borrow, and no restriction on the purposes for which it can borrow • Public debt today • Deficit Spending – spending more thanwhat it takes in each year, and borrowing to make up the difference • Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Clinton)
Expressed Powers of Congress Borrowing con’t U.S. NATIONALDEBTCLOCK The Outstanding Public Debt as of: To understand the severity of the debt, we need to break down what a trillion is. How big is it? If you had gone into business on the day Jesus was born, and your business lost a million dollars a day, day in and day out, 365 days a year, it would have taken you until October 2737 to lose a trillion dollars.
Power to Borrow Whose debt is it? It is owned by the Federal gov’t., but private citizens can buy some of the debt in the form of savings bonds and government bonds. Currently, many outside nations owe money to the US that goes unpaid. Why can’t we just print more money? Inflation: more supply lessens the value
Expressed Powers of Congress – Power to Borrow Why is it so high? Most of the spending is a result of financing things not in the budget (i.e. War) Interest on a large sum, is extremely high. (For each dollar of taxes, 19 cents goes to paying just the interest on the debt) • The first President to start deficit spending was: FDR • The last President to have a balanced budget was: • Bill Clinton
Expressed Powers of Congress “Congress shall form uniform laws concerning bankruptcy…” When someone declares bankruptcy, they: Can’t pay their debt!! Congress has passed laws that protect both creditors and debtors…
Expressed Powers of Congress So what happens? The creditor is entitled to payment in some form. A person assets will be seized and the sold. The money will given to the creditors. The amount of debt owed by the debtor is wiped clean, once the assets are seized. The Problem: The debtor will have a hard time getting any loans or credit from any bank or business, making it hard to buy major things.
$1 silver certificates, 1896 Martha Washington $5 Louisiana state bank note, 1862 Continental Currency
Commerce Power • The power of Congress to regulate interstate and foreign trade • Sets how much should be charged for imports • Not in Articles of Confederation • 1780s – States fought over trade barriers and laws • Civil Rights Act of 1964: prohibits discrimination “in access to” or “service in” hotels, motels, theaters, and other public accommodations on grounds of race, color, etc… • Power is as vital as the power to tax • Many government decisions have been backed up on the power of the Federal government to regulate commerce between the states