Checks and Balances

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When our nation began, our government instilled principles of checks and balances. The structure included three levels of government involving the judicial, legislative and executive branches as identified in the Constitution. It is a concept that has benefited us from day one, but today some seem to question whether anything can ever get done in Congress with the current structure. congressTo this I answer a resounded yes. Having a checks and balance system is necessary so no one element can push through their agenda without support from the others. The primary environment in which this occurs is our federal legislature. Legislation is initiated but it takes both houses of Congress to arrive at a final version to be submitted to the President for signature. One house cannot create legislation and submit it for signature, it takes both. This aspect of the checks and balance system can be positive or it can be negative as we have seen in recent days.

Currently the Senate and the House of Representatives is controlled by two separate political parties. Each must accept legislation from the other but votes do not always take place in the Senate under the present political environment. In this respect each legislative body is a check to the other, and while sometimes actions are stalled or never occur at all, it is a viable aspect of our legislative structure. In addition, review of legislation also involves the President and judicial review by the Supreme Court if there is a challenge to any legislation passed.

CongressOne aspect of why this system seems to have positive benefits involves the concept of the President proposing a budget for Congress and sending it to Congress for review and acceptance. It is understood that no Congress is ever going to completely agree with a President’s budget as presented regardless of the party in power. It is the responsibility of Congress to evaluate the details of any budget proposal or revision and accept or modify...
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