1. Critically analyze the main functions and powers of Congress.
Congress, which is made up of the House of Representatives and Senate is seen as the most independently powerful legislature in the world as it is fiercely protective of its constitutional position. Its main aim is to exert independence from executive influence, which in many occasions it has, especially its stance with the Health Care Bill. This independence derives from the constitution as the founding fathers suggested Congress was to be “the central element of the new political system” allowing Congress to perform checks and balances on a powerful executive. Congress is the branch of government closest to the people and the framers of the Constitution intended it to be the most powerful. Although, in the nineteenth and twentieth century, Congress has decreased in importance as the powers of the presidency expanded. Constitutionally it was given three main powers, all of which remain important today. First, all legislative power is vested in the house of reps and the senate, and within this broad function, Congress is given special powers to appropriate monies, raise armies and regulate interstate commerce. Second, the house of reps has the right to declare war. Lastly, the Senate is given the power to ratify treaties and approve appointments by the president to the judiciary and executive branch. However, it has been suggested that Congress is the broken branch of the three branches of government because of how well it performs its functions and powers.
Main function – legislature
The Philadelphia Convention 1787 gave Congress the power of being the primary law making body in the US. Members of Congress formulate and pass laws, it is an important actor in the policy process as it was intended that Congress should initiate any undertaking of government in domestic matters. For example both the House and Senate passed their own versions of the heath...