Promises Promises

Promises Promises - Promises Promises What factors limit...

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Promises Promises What factors limit Obama’s ability to implement agenda? There are a variety of factors that limit Obama’s ability to implement his agenda. These include his limited explicit powers in the constitution and the institutional constraints of his power. US Political Culture, a tremendous bureaucracy to navigate, increased responsibilities, and the recent growth of filibusters, exacerbates these limitations as well. Only a few pieces of Obama’s agenda can be expected to get implemented due to all of these components that limit his authority. For one, there are few explicit powers granted to him in the U.S. constitution. This was done to prevent a monarch-like president. These include the director of military operations as commander in chief, to make treaties with a two-thirds Senate vote, give a state of the union address, and make appointments with the consent of Congress (Constitution). Essentially, in order to make moves within the Presidency he must rely on Congress according to the constitution. But executive orders help the president circumvent Congress. Executive orders 12291 and 12498 specifically controlled some of the regulations that Congress tried to impose on Executive agencies, granting the president more power. The veto also allows the president to circumvent congress. It can be overridden but it takes a 2/3 majority, which is highly unlikely. The president also had between 1996 and 1998 a line-item-veto so he could veto certain parts of the bill. The line-item-veto was taken away in Clinton v. New York since the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional, thereby continuing to limit Obama’s ability to implement his agenda. Also, fast-track authority was available for some time throughout the presidency. This was used for trade negotiations and is voted on by Congress with a yes or no vote without filibusters or amendments. This allowed the President to negotiate agreements and have legislation passed with more ease since the likelihood of tie-ups in Congress could be limited. This expired in July of 2007 which makes Obama’s authority a bit weaker than it was for Bush. Also, there still exists the power to persuade as Neustadt would call it. Presidents have the power to bargain due to their status and authority. But an increase in divided government has made it harder to bargain. Additionally, with the increase in interest groups a lot more players are at the table watching the outcome of certain decisions. But still,
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2010 for the course PSC 116 taught by Professor Forrestmaltzman during the Fall '08 term at GWU.

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Promises Promises - Promises Promises What factors limit...

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