List the important functions that Congress performs in our political system. Identify four types of Standing Committees in the Congress and note briefly what they do. Explain briefly the steps through which a bill becomes a law. Congress is the legislature consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. United States Capitol is the meeting place of the congress. The stability of the political system is largely dependent on the Congress and without the congress it cannot really think of surviving.
Both the Senators and the House of Representatives have their special powers in the congress and these powers are different from each other. Some important functions of the congress are as follows • Representative Function • Constituent Function • Electoral Function • Legislative Function • Investigative Function • Executive Function • Judicial Function It is not expected of the members of the congress to be professionals in all areas of expertise for this reason the committees in the congress act as pool of information. These committees not only investigate but also report back the information they have found.
The committees can be divided in to three types i) Standing Committee ii) Special Committees iii) Joint Committees Talking about the Standing Committees in congress there are many different kinds of committees which look after specialized areas. The senate currently has 17 different standing committees at the moment. Some Standing Committees in the senate are 1. U. S Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation The committee’s main objectives are to look after the industries from the private sector and federal agencies.
It also tries to keep checks on the performance of the transportation such as railways, highways and their security as well. Not only this but inter-state and international trade. 2. U. S Senate Committee on Foreign Relations This committee looks after the foreign policy agencies such as state department and Peace Corps. It also looks after the treaties that U. S is doing with other countries, 3. U. S Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship The committee looks after all the small business operations and legislations related to small business. 4. U. S Senate Committee on Veteran’s Affairs
This committee looks after all the legislation related to the veteran’s affairs such as their compensations, insurance policies, soldiers and other armed forces personnel pension. The basic steps through which the bill has to pass to become a law are as follows firstly a bill is brought in the senate by a member than it is referred to a committee of the house. Than the committee considers the pros and cons of the bill after reviewing it the bill is reported back to the house. Furthermore the bill is read and after the third revision it is sent to the members for review, debate and then vote on the bill.
If the bill is passed it is sent to the second chamber where the process again starts and all the above mentioned steps are repeated such that by the end if the bill is passed by the houses than the president or governor to pass the bill or veto the bill. This veto power of the governor or president gives him the right to entertain only those laws which are in the favor of the country. List Presidential powers in separate categories. Discuss how the Presidency is managed. Note the roles the President plays that are not mentioned in the Constitution. The presidential powers are divided into five categories
1. Executive Powers These powers include the appointment of officials to the presidents executive branch, executive orders, executive privileges i. e. presidents right to withhold information. 2. Diplomatic Powers These powers include the power to negotiate deals such as treaties, power to appoint ambassadors, power to recognize a specific country and to put sanctions on it. 3. Legislative Powers These powers include the power to veto a bill or to pass it. 4. Military Powers These powers include president’s power as the Commander and Chief of the armed forces. 5.
Judicial Powers These powers include the power of granting Pardons and Amnesties. The U. S. Presidency is also called the Executive Office of the President. The presidency consists of the very immediate staff of the president. The head of the presidency is the Chief of Staff of the White House. Staff members which are senior have the titles of Assistant to the president while those staff members that have junior positions are called the deputy assistant to the president. And the staff which comes on an even junior level is known as special assistant to the president.
Very few officials in the presidency have to be approved by the senate. The presidency has a staff of around 2500 to 3000 generally but it changes with the change in the president. The presidency also has the support and staff for the first lady of the United States. There are a number of entities in the presidency that help the president in different fields of the government. Some of these entities are council of economic advisers, National Security Council, office of national drug control policy and many others. All these offices report to the president and help the president in the decision making.
The chief of staff is the man who is handling the affairs at the presidency and coordinator between the different departments. The roles that the president plays and are not mentioned in the constitution come from the loosely worded words in the constitution. These statements allow the president to create job roles that help him perform his work. Some of these roles that he plays are; going for war while not seeking any permission from the congress, as mentioned earlier the loose wording of the constitution gives him the power to act in the favor of the state in every possible way.
He also has the unsaid power of engaging in foreign surveillance. For example the U. S. presidents in the past have been doing this in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq and these actions proved fruitful as well. One of these implied powers which has been used very recently is the detainment of foreign personnel or Americans on American soil without giving them any right to any legal services. This power was largely exercised after the 9/11 and many citizens were taken to prison in the wake of terrorist attacks and were kept there for many months without hearing.
Another power is use aggressive interrogation techniques with the enemy combatants and sometimes even the use of torture. These tactics were seen being used at the Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and the Abu Gharib prison in Iraq. All these powers are not mentioned in the constitution but the president assumes these roles as the chief protector of the people of the United States of America. Define bureaucracy and list the job that the federal bureaucracy does in the US. Discuss how federal bureaucracy is organized in the US and how they are hold accountable under out system of government?
Bureaucracy can be defined as the combination of the structure of an organization, procedures and regulations which are placed in order manage activities. The purpose of a bureaucracy is not to make the laws rather its purpose is to implement these laws. Bureaucracy is created by the leadership to implement the rules and regulations and this is why the bureaucracy is completed loyal to the leadership that has brought it in. In the U. S. the federal bureaucracy doesn’t have any constitutional grounds but still it is considered to be the fourth pillar of the government. The three basic jobs of the federal bureaucracy are 1. Implementation
2. Administration 3. Regulation When congress passes some bill it gives some certain guidelines according to which the bill has to be implemented by the bureaucracy, this is the implementation state. The administration stage is the routine work done by the bureaucracy such as collection of fees. The third step is the regulation where the bureaucracy provides specific guidelines on the operation of state programs. To have an understanding about the organization of the federal bureaucracy in the U. S. we need to understand that its only purpose is the implementation of policies that have been made by the government officials.
The bureaucracy has two basic sources of power and on this everything is organized. The first source is the specific information that these bureaucrats have. Many times in different technical questions arise and most of the politicians are not able to answer these questions but the bureaucrats are able to answer these questions due to their acumen and understanding of different issues. The second source of power is the permanent nature of these bureaucrats. Whichever government comes to the office these bureaucrats remain at their positions. These are the very basis of organization. Bureaucracy is organized into four different types 1.
Cabinet Department 2. Regulatory Commission 3. Independent Agencies 4. Government Corporations Cabinet departments are in total in 15 in number and they are the major administrative units the bureaucracy and look after the major government operations. Regulatory commission is present to look after specific interest such as some specific economic activity. Independent Agencies are there to perform a specific function rather than regulating something this includes the NASA or the CIA. Government corporations are those corporations which can be run by private business but are not due to the fact that they don’t have any profits involved.
The bureaucracy is under the control of all three foundations of the government. The president has the powers to remove or change the agency heads, make changes to their budget and ignore the initiatives taken by them. The congress has controls over them by passing some legislation that will curb the committee’s power, investigate the activities of bureaucrats and influence the presidents to appoint specific committee members. Judiciary also has control, by checking if the regulation made by the bureaucracy is right according to law. And tell them the rights of individuals through constant hearings