How Much Power Does The President of the USA Have?

The Presidential election is the extent of most people’s political involvement. The Constitution, in order to prevent a tyrant from rising to power, lays out a network of powers that keep the executive branch (the President and Cabinet), the legislative branch (Congress), and the judicial branch (the Supreme Court) from wielding undue power.

Legislation

The largest role of the President is to sign or veto bills sent by Congress. A bill that passes the House of Representatives moves to the Senate. From the Senate, it goes to the White House. The President can sign the bill and make it a law or veto it as-is. In other words, vetoing specific parts of a bill is impossible. A vetoed bill has to start the process again unless Congress overrides it by at least 66 percent of votes. The President can require Congress to convene to vote on measures the executive branch introduces.

Executive Orders

Within certain parameters, the President can also issue what’s called an executive order. This order is a decree that directs procedures within government at the federal level. It isn’t a law; no approval by Congress is necessary. Congress can allocate or divert funding to prevent executive orders from overreaching.

Appointments

Within the executive branch, the President can either appoint or dismiss members of the Cabinet and other offices at his discretion. Appointments to the Cabinet occur during a President-elect’s transition period. He also can control to some extent how procedure within the executive branch is carried out.

The power of presidential appointment also applies to the Supreme Court. The President can appoint justices when there is a vacancy due to death or resignation. The appointment has to be agreed to by both houses of the legislature.

Presidential Pardons

Another power the President has as pertains to the law is to issue pardons for federal offenses. Someone who wants to be pardoned would have to submit a formal written petition and the President can either grant or deny the request. The petition in and of itself is an admission of guilt. The President issuing the pardon does not make the convicted person innocent, it only prevents punishment from being carried out.

Foreign Relations

In addition to being the head of the federal government, the President is also the head of state. Only he can receive foreign dignitaries or ambassadors.

Military Power

The President is the highest authority of the armed forces. All branches of the military answer to the White House as the commander-in-chief, even though the President holds no formal rank. He can, however, commission and appoint officers in the military. While Congress reserves the right to declare war, the President has ultimate command and coordinates with the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to direct military actions within the budget set by Congress.

The War Powers Act of 1972 allows the President to order any military engagement to a maximum of 60 days. After that, Congress has to vote to fund further military action.

Public Influence

Most people can name the President. Fewer could name, for instance, their local Congressperson. The President has a much larger presence on the world stage than any other citizen. He or she is considered to be the leader of whichever political party he follows and unofficially represents its agendas as a whole. The President also addresses the nation and the world during a yearly State of the Union speech, in which he outlines goals for the upcoming year.

Overall

The President’s powers are, as outlined in the Constitution, balanced with those of the legislative and judicial branches to prevent power from being consolidated to any single person.

The Most Popular Pets Among United States Presidents

It’s not surprising to see a new President enters the White House with his family and his loyal furry companions. The presidential pets have always been a hot topic as many love to see what kind of four-legged friends will join the Oval Office. We have a look at some of the most popular pets of United States Presidents.

Barack Obama

President Obama promised his daughters a puppy in his victory speech. He came through with a male Portuguese Water Dog named Bo. The sweet dog was a present sent from Senator Ted Kennedy. The family then adopted a female dog, Sunny, another Portuguese Water Dog, this time a female named Sunny. While Portuguese Water Dogs are prone to hip dysplasia, there are ways to provide relief for it, and they truly make for adorable pets.

John Quincy Adams

The sixth President of the United States chose a unique pet to live in the White House. Adams’ wife, Louisa had silkworms. The family watched the silkworms lay their eggs then hatch them. After they raised the worms, they would harvest the silk. Louisa used silk to sew beautiful creations. No one knows what became of the silkworms when the Adams family left office.

Bill Clinton

Socks the cat is one of the most popular felines to live at the White House. President Clinton and his family enjoyed showing the black and white kitty to the world. The Clintons also had a chocolate Labrador Retriever named Buddy. Many people laugh at the stories of the cat and dog as they did not enjoy each other’s presence.

Theodore Roosevelt

President Roosevelt didn’t have just one or two pets. He had six children that loved animals. They brought in guinea pigs, birds, badgers, dogs, snakes, and cats. One time, they even brought the pony into the White House to cheer up one of his sick children. There is no question that this house was an exciting one.

Ronald Reagan

President Reagan didn’t enter the White House with any dogs. The family brought in a black Bouvier des Flanders named Lucky. She got a little too large and wild for the Oval Office, so she was sent to the family ranch. Then they welcomed a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Rex. Their cats, Cleo and Sara, also lived at the ranch.

William Howard Taft

A cow wasn’t going to let any dog upstage him as a family pet. President Taft’s cow was named Pauline Wayne. She is known as the last cow to live there. She traveled throughout the country as a star of the political interviews. Caruso, a dog, also lived with Pauline Wayne at the White House.

Jimmy Carter

A sweet Border Collie mix joined the Carter family in the White House after a teacher gifted it to young Amy Carter. The dog, Grits, didn’t get along very well with their cat. The Siamese, Misty Malarky Ying Yang wasn’t very welcoming to the new pup. The dog eventually went back to live with Amy’s teacher.

Herbert Hoover

President Hoover actually had a few different dogs during his time as President. One of the most popular was King Tut, a Belgian Shepard. People were often amazed to see alligators on the White House lawn. These belonged to Hoover’s son.

John F. Kennedy

The Kennedy family is another Presidential family that loved their pets. They had dogs, hamsters, birds, cats, and rabbits. Arguably their most popular pet was Caroline’s little pony, Macaroni. Their Welsh Terrier, Charlie, was always President Kennedy’s sidekick.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

President Eisenhower has the honor of having a pet actually buried on the grounds of the White House. His pet parakeet, Gabby is buried there. Eisenhower also had a Weimaraner.