The President of the United States is undoubtedly one of the world’s most powerful and influential figures. The president’s policies and actions have both national and global implications. The president of the United States has a wide range of powers, including those explicitly granted by Article II of the United States Constitution, those granted by Acts of Congress, implied powers, and a significant deal of soft power. Powers and functions of US president can be discussed in the following headings.
A. Executive Powers
The president is the nation’s chief administrator, or officer, and is ultimately responsible for all programmes of executive branch. A president, rather than overseeing the executive departments and agencies’ day-to-day activities, is responsible for ensuring that “all laws are faithfully executed.”
He has the authority to make all significant appointments, although they must be approved by the Senate. The Senate does not intervene in the appointments of Secretaries of State, Ambassadors, and other diplomats. The Senate, on the other hand, must thoroughly investigate Supreme Court appointments. The “Senatorial Courtesy” convention has been established in the appointment of federal authorities in numerous states around the United States. The president must make federal appointments, which must be approved by the Senate, according to the US constitution. The President does not have time to review all of the thousands of appointments. As a result, he has delegated his appointment authority to Senators from the states where vacancies exist. The only stipulation is that the Senators must be members of his political party. Senators’ appointments are approved by the Senate as a matter of courtesy. Except for judges, the President has the authority to remove anyone he appoints.
(ii) Foreign Policy
Foreign relations are under the control of the President, who is assisted by the Secretary of State. All Ambassadors and other Diplomats are appointed by him. He makes treaties with other countries. However, such treaties must be confirmed by a Senate majority of two-thirds. The Senate has the power to veto a treaty that the President has negotiated, but it does not have the power to compel the President to sign one. Ambassadors and ministers from other countries are received by the President. In actuality, he is the United States’ Chief Spokesman for International Affairs, and he is directly responsible for his country’s foreign policy and its outcomes. He has sole authority over whether or not new states are recognised.
It is pertinent to mention that US president can make agreement which do not require the confirmation by Senate; such agreements are called executive agreements. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, for example, signed an executive agreement that handed the United Kingdom 50 overage warships in exchange for 99-year leases on certain British naval bases in the Atlantic after the onset of World War II but before American entrance into the war. Following 1939, the use of executive agreements increased. Prior to 1940, the United States Senate had ratified 800 treaties and presidents had made 1,200 executive agreements; from 1940 to 1989, presidents signed roughly 800 treaties but negotiated more than 13,000 executive agreements throughout World War II and the Cold War.
As Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces, he is responsible for the country’s defence. He appoints military officers with Senate approval and can dismiss them at any time. He has the ability to dispatch American military anywhere on the globe. In times of war and aggression, it is up to the President to decide when, where, and whether the H-bomb should be dropped. He cannot, however, declare war without Congress’s permission. He can, however, manipulate the international environment to provoke conflict; in 1951, American forces were instructed to conduct police action in Korea without a declaration of war.
B. Legislative Powers
The US constitution is based on the theory of separation of powers. The executive and legislative parts of government are separated from one another. In theory, Congress passes laws and the President carries them out. However, in practise, the President has become a powerful legislator. The following are his legislative powers:
The constitution requires the President to transmit messages to Congress informing them of the state of the Union. These messages occasionally include concrete proposals for legislation. Because such legislative proposals come from a very high authority, the Congress cannot easily dismiss them.
He can exercise his “Veto” power to influence Congress. All of Congress’s bills are sent to the President for his assent. Within 10 days of receiving a bill, the President may refuse to sign it and return it to the House from which it originated. A veto can be overridden by Congress passing the bill again: The only need is that each House passes the bill with a 2/3rd majority. As a result, the President’s veto is merely temporary. However, obtaining a 2/3rdd majority in each House can be challenging at times. The suspensive veto becomes absolute in that circumstance.
If a bill is sent to the President and he does not sign it or return it to Congress, it becomes law within 10 clays even if he does not sign it. The sole requirement is for Congress to be in session. In the meanwhile, if Congress adjourns, the Bill is automatically killed. This is referred to as Pocket Veto. This means that if Congress passes a bill less than 10 days before it adjourns, the President can simply ignore it (“put it in his pocket”). Many bills that were enacted near the end of the Congress’s session are killed this way.
(iii) Extra-ordinary Sessions of the Congress
The President has the authority to convene special sessions of Congress. True, he has no power to force Congress to approve his legislative proposals. However, if he has the support of a strong public opinion, he can easily achieve his goal.
(iv) Executive Orders
The President can also issue executive orders that have legal effect. Executive orders relate to the conduct of government business or to the organization of executive agencies. The number of executive orders like this is enormous. As a result, the President has been able to significantly strengthen his legislative power.
In order to influence Congress, the President wields enormous patronage tools. Members of Congress want their relatives, friends, and supporters to have jobs. In this case, the President is in a position to help them. He strikes deals with lawmakers in order to obtain their support for legislation that he is concerned about.
C. Judicial Powers
Except for those who have been impeached or who have committed crimes against the state, the President has the authority to give pardons and reprieves to any offenders against federal law. For example, former President Richard Nixon was pardoned for whatever crimes he may have committed while in office by President Gerald Ford, who was able to do so because Nixon resigned before impeachment charges were filed.
Furthermore US President also appoints Supreme Court judges and judges in the federal judiciary, albeit with Senate approval.
D .Financial Powers
In theory, Congress is in charge of the treasury. In practise, the budget is developed under the President’s direction and supervision. Of course, Congress has the authority to alter the proposals, but it rarely does so. The President has the influence on the economic life of the nation through the budgetary and taxing proposals. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Council of Economic Advisors assist the president to formulate the economic and financial policy of the state.