Political power is the social force that allows an individual to organize and mobilize others, influence them to believe and behave, and to gain control over them in a particular society. (Petress, n. d. ) Different officials in a particular government have their own political power in implementing rules for the functioning of their society. However, the extent of power that they have is a big question. This is where the question of who among these officials has more power arises. For this paper, the U. S. Government will be the focused in determining in whom, whether the President or the Congress has more power?
Is one superior than the other or they have the same weight of responsibility on their shoulders? In order to answer these questions, an understanding of the U. S. government, in particular, the President and the Congress, together with their duties and extent of power is a prerequisite. The delegates of the U. S. Constitution wanted to have a strong and central type of government but still, the political power would not be centralized for a certain individual or a small group of individuals. In line with this, they created a government with three separate branches that have their own powers to ensure a balance of power.
The power and function in the United States’ government is divided into the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. Using this system, check and balance of power is ensuring that the power to rule a country is widely distributed in order to protect the citizens from being governed by a central power. The legislative branch of the government is comprised of the Congress, which is further divided into the Senate and the House of Representatives. For an individual to be a member of the Congress, he must be elected by the people of his state.
The membership in the House of Representatives is based on state populations, having 435 seats and is elected for two-year terms, while the Senate has 100 members, having two members from each of the 50 states and is elected for six-year terms. (www. whitehouse. gov, 2007) The Congress has the power to assess and collect taxes which is the chief power. Included to its responsibilities are the regulation of interstate and foreign commerce; coining of money; the establishment of different post offices and roads; establishment of courts that are under the Supreme Court; the declaration of war; and the maintenance of the army and the navy.
(www. usinfo. state. gov, 1997) The President holds the power of the executive branch of the government and among his duties is to facilitate the Armed Forces by acting as the Commander in Chief. The President is oversees the different agencies and departments in the fulfillment of their duties and is also the one who appoints the Cabinet. Among the requirements needed to become the President of the United States is that an individual must be a natural-born citizen of the United States and should not be below than 35 years old having a residency of 14 years or more in the United States.
Upon meeting these requirements and winning the votes of the people, the President will be given a four year-term and is only allowed to be re-elected once. (www. whitehouse. gov, 2007) The President has very significant roles in leading a country. Although these roles are varied and diverse, the duties of the President can be divided in terms of power and duty as the leader in domestic policy, and as the leader in foreign affairs. These two main activities of the President are often referred by political scientists as the ‘two presidencies. ”