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Chapter 15 Presidency

Chapter 15 Presidency - As Richard E Neustadt asserted in...

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As Richard E. Neustadt asserted in his classic treatise, Presidential Power, persuasion is the key to the skillful exercise of presidential leadership. As chief executives, presidents can order their subordinates to perform a task in a certain manner. They do so through the issuance of an exectuvie order, memorandum, proclamation, or directive that has the force of law so long as it does not conflict with the Constitution or an existing statute. In situations where persuasion becomes more difficult, presidents use orders to achieve their policy and governing objectives. They tend to issue more at the end of their terms, when they run for reelection, and when their popularity lags in the polls. Clinton administration provides a good example of late-term orders. He expanded the size and number of national monuments by including millions of acres of national forests; he heightened environmental standards; he ordered the Food and Drug Administration to consider tobacco as a drug and thus provide regulations on its sale and labeling. Executive orders have also been used to restructure the Executive Office of the President, extend its mission, and change its modes of operation. By executive order, Kennedy established a national security advisory mechanism in the White House; Johnson created an Office of Economic Opportunity to oversee the administration of his Great Society program; Nixon reorganized the roles of the OMB; Ford set up an Economic Policy Board to advise him during an inflationary period; Carter expanded the White House’s outreach offices after he failed to secure many of his legislative objectives. Presidents have used their executive powers as leverage to get Congress to consider legislation. They have used it to gain the policy initiative, to promote a particular policy outcome, or to prevent an outcome that Congress is considering. Less than 3 percent of executive orders were critically examined by Congress.
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