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Government Branches

By joneill4418 Feb 25, 2013 782 Words
Which branch of government do you think is the most powerful and why? I believe the most powerful branch of government is the Legislative Branch, because of the power it processes to keep checks and balance on the other two branches of government. There are two different houses in the legislative branch, the first is the house if representatives and the senate. The House of Representatives consists of 435 members elected from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories. The states population determines the number of members elected from each state. There are 6 non-voting members that represent the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and four other territories of the United States. The senate consists of 100 members, two from each state. Members of the house are up for election or reelection every two year as opposed to the senate, which is every six years. Together they form the congress of the United States of America.

Article 1 Section 8 lists the powers of congress. Some of the more important ones include the necessary and proper clause, the commerce clause, power to tax, power to spend, coin money, and ability to borrow money, these powers give congress the ability to make laws, buy and sell goods, control a federal budget and even borrow money from foreign countries. The necessary and proper clause is one of the most powerful in the Constitution. It allows congress to "make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution." This has been used for all types of federal actions including the New Deal, McCulloch v. Maryland, integration in the states and in the federal kidnapping act. The power to tax and spend also gives congress an important power to control the federal budget, which includes Medicare, Medicate, Social Security, infrastructure, government, agencies, and maybe the most important, the Defense budget.

The House of Representatives is also given the power to impeach the President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States. “Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity and the outcome of which, depending on the country, can lead to the removal of that official from office or other punishment.” There is a two-step process in order to impeach an official. First “The House Judiciary Committee decides whether or not to proceed with impeachment. If they do, The Chairman of the Judiciary Committee will propose a Resolution calling for the Judiciary Committee to begin a formal inquiry into the issue of impeachment. Based on their inquiry, the Judiciary Committee will send another Resolution to the full House stating that impeachment is warranted and why (the Articles of Impeachment), or that impeachment is not called for. The Full House will debate and vote on each Article of Impeachment. Should any one of the Articles of Impeachment be approved by a simple majority vote, the President will be "impeached." However, being impeached is sort of like being indicted of a crime. There still has to be a trial, which is where the US Senate comes in. The Senate will meet in private session to debate a verdict. The Senate, in open session, will vote on a verdict. A 2/3rds vote of the Senate will result in a conviction.”

The Legislative Branch is more powerful than both the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch because when it come down to the President voting on a piece of legislature or appointing a supreme court judge, congress has the last say. After a bill is passed by congress it is sent to the President for his vote. If the President veto’s the bill congress is able with 2/3 vote able to overturn the Presidents decision. Under Article 2, Section 2, of the US Constitution provides that “the President may nominate members of the Supreme Court, but that appointment only occurs with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. This means the Senate conducts an investigation of the candidate's qualifications and personal background, determines whether he or she would adequately fulfill the role of Justice, then votes whether to approve or disapprove the nomination.” In the end each branch is supposed to provide checks and balances for one another, but without the approval or money that congress controls, the Executive Branch and Judicial Branch would have a hard time operating.

Sources
http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/legislative-branch
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/congpowers.htm http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/a/impeachment.htm http://people.howstuffworks.com/supreme-court-appointment.htm/printable

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