The Us Congress Essay

986 WordsMar 19, 20134 Pages
The U.S. Congress INCLUDEPICTURE "http://bensguide.gpo.gov/images/icons/congress.jpg" \* MERGEFORMATINET The primary duty of Congress is to write, debate, and pass "bill" bills, which are then passed on to the president for approval. The Constitution grants Congress "all legislative powers" in the national government. Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution lists a wide range of congressional powers, including: Coining money. Maintaining a military. Declaring war on other countries. Regulating interstate and foreign commerce. Congress also controls federal taxing and spending policies—one of the most important sources of power in the government. The Constitution also gives Congress the authority to "make all laws which shall be necessary and proper," an implied source of power sometimes called the Elastic" Elastic Clause. One of the most important implied powers is Congress’s authority to investigate and oversee the executive branch and its agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice. Congress also holds hearings on matters of general public concern. Sometimes members of Congress conduct these hearings to identify problems that create a need for new laws. In other cases Congress holds hearings to raise public awareness about an issue. There are, however, some congressional powers that are rarely used such as the ability to Impeachment" impeach an official a"Amendment" amending the Constitution. In addition to the power described above, Congress shares powers with the president in matters such as, framing U.S. foreign policy and control over the military. For example, while the president negotiates treaties, they are only put into effect once the Senate approves them. Also, while Congress can declare war and approve funds for the military, the president is the commander-in-chief of the military. A new Congress begins in

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