Does the Legislative Branch Have More Power Than the Executive Branch?

Discussion in 'Congress' started by Eliza, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. Eliza
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    Eliza Rookie

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    Let me explain my thought process...
    I've relatively recently decided to get myself into politics and can't start college classes until the spring because of moving in a few weeks. Because of this, I've decided to start doing my own research so I don't seem like a total idiot when I do get into the classes and to have a better understanding of the government and their systems as a whole. My research has gone pretty well - until I asked the questions no one really seems to be able to explain to me.
    Does the Legislative Branch actually have more power than the Executive Branch, despite the efforts of Checks and Balances?
    Let's pretend, for a moment, that I'm perfect so my research must be, too. (I'm not and it probably isn't and that's how we got here...) My research has given me the information about each branch's powers and who controls what. The Legislative Branch has the Congress. The Executive Branch has the president and VP, (and more but my question is more related to Congress and the president.) The research that brought me to this question is finding out that Congress can pass a bill regardless of the president's veto and the bill can pass regardless after 10 days if the president hasn't decided on a pocket veto. If Congress proposes a bill, votes on the bill and decides to send it off to the president and the president vetoes it, that should be the end of it, right? Then the process should start over again and they should have to rewrite the bill and attempt it again but that isn't the case. The Congress, as a whole, can vote after the veto and make the bill into law anyway. It almost seems like Congress has way more power than the president by being able to pass a bill after a veto. What I can't find any answers on is: Are there any other guidelines, aside from voting, put upon Congress so they can't abuse this power?
    Congress has only used this power a handful of times to very few presidents. This leads me to believe that there are more guidelines or restrictions to this power. Otherwise, wouldn't they have used it more?

    Note: These are genuine questions that I'm desperately searching for. I understand my research may be wrong and that I may not be understanding something as well as I'd like to. I'm searching for help and just want the answers to my questions and any corrections to my research.
    All of my main research has come from usa.gov.
     
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  2. task0778
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    task0778 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    In a nutshell, from Wikipedia:

    The phrase presidential veto does not appear in the United States Constitution, but Article I requires every bill, order, resolution or other act of legislation approved by the Congress of the United States to be presented to the president of the United States for their approval. After that is done, there are several scenarios in which a bill may or may not be enacted into law.

    • The president may sign the bill within 10 days (excluding Sundays). This enacts the bill into law.
    • The president may return the bill to Congress with a statement of objections within 10 days (excluding Sundays). This is a "veto."
    • If the president vetoes a bill, the president's objections shall be considered by the Congress. Each house may vote to override the president's veto. If 2/3 of each house agree to override the president's veto, the bill is enacted into law.
    • The president may do nothing, and after 10 days (excluding Sundays) if Congress has not yet adjourned, the bill is enacted into law.
    • The president may do nothing, and if Congress adjourns before the 10th day (excluding Sundays), the bill is not enacted into law. This is known as "pocket veto". (It can't be overridden)
    Since a veto requires a 2/3 vote to override it, it is usually rare because the President's Party usually doesn't have enough votes in one chamber of Congress or the other for the override. It has happened though, 111 times in our nation's history thus far. Usually to a very unpopular president.

    If congress doesn't have the necessary 2/3 vote to override, then Congress can change the vetoed bill if they desire, and if it passes again through both chambers then it goes back to the President for his approval. Or not.
     
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  3. longknife
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    longknife Diamond Member

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    The Founders claimed to have created co-equal branches of government.

    The very first article of the constitution deals with the legislative branch. The voice of the states and the people.

    The second article establishes the executive branch given the role of carrying out the laws enacted by the legislative branch and defending the nation.

    The third branch is the judicial, established to ensure the other two branches adhere to the constitution.

    It is clear to me that the Founders felt the legislative branch was to be the most powerful from the very clarion call, "We the people..."

    However, over many decades, the legislative branch has assigned its responsibilities - by law - to the executive branch, thus weakening its role in our government. That has created a fourth branch of government, unaccountable and anonymous members of the executive branch that set and enforce rules and regulations governing every segment of society. This Fourth Branch, known as The Swamp, is what President Trump is trying to weaken and even eliminate.

    I hope that somewhat answers your question.
     
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  4. gipper
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    gipper Libertarian/Anarchist

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    It doesn’t really matter since the federal government doesn’t follow the Constitution, and is not limited by it.
     
  5. Eliza
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    Eliza Rookie

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    It matters to me. I'm pretty much dedicating my life to politics. I wanna understand why things are the way they are and how to fix them. I just wanna fix everything.
     
  6. gipper
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    gipper Libertarian/Anarchist

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    Good luck with that.
     
  7. Leo123
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    Leo123 Gold Member

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    My opinion (for what it's worth).....The three branches....Judicial, Executive and Legislative are meant to be checks and balances on each other. One could opine that the legislative (specifically the House of Representatives) could have more power in certain situations especially since it is closest to The People. However, the main feature is how each branch is able to check the other one.
     
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  8. Eliza
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    Eliza Rookie

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    Well, that's what we were all taught in school but I'm not sure how much I believe that anymore. The President, with more and more research, is starting to look like the U.S. mascot, no disrespect intended. They have power... but I think Congress has like, half a step to a step higher on the ladder of power. There are a lot of things the government hides from us, whether it be for our safety or their advantages. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm right but I hope Checks and Balances actually does its job.
     
  9. Leo123
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    Leo123 Gold Member

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    Actually, the position of President is meant to be a figurehead or representation of the Office which is meant to be more powerful than the individual that temporarily holds it.

    Checks and Balances are not perfect because human beings are flawed and can be evil however, IMO, it's a better option than a Dictator or Royalty. As one of our founders said 'you have a Republic, if you can keep it'......The forces that seek to tear apart America and our Constitution are great. We must always remember freedom and American traditions rely on each and every one of us to not be complacent.

    When you hear politicians calling (for example) to 'amend' the 2nd amendment so government can take firearms out of the hands of law abiding citizens, you are hearing the contemplated overthrow of American's rights.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  10. xband
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    xband Gold Member

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    Negatory, Big Ben. Said Mark Mark the harelipped dog.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019

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