America is the most powerful nation in the world. Therefore, its policies have far reaching effects. Presidency is the highest political office in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. presidency is the most powerful political office in the world. However, the presidency has undergone several changes. These changes are due to the changes in local American politics and waning global influence of the U.S.
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There has been a significant increase in the executive powers of the president. During the early years of the inception of the U.S. presidency, presidents had limited executive power. Oversight by congress and courts helped in limiting the powers of the presidency. Therefore, presidents sought public support on various issues. However, a ‘unitary executive’ has helped in increasing the powers of the Executive Office of the President (EOP).
After the Second World War, the U.S. provided global leadership. The U.S. was had a moral obligation to provide leadership to other countries. However, global conditions have undergone several changes since the Second World War. The U.S. does not have the cultural and social influence it had. In addition, the U.S. economy does not account for a high proportion of the global output. Reduction of the influence of the U.S. on global affairs is due to the rise of other countries.
These countries include China, Russia, India, Brazil, and the European Union. This has reduced the power of the EOP. This necessitates the U.S. to act as partners while collaborating with other countries. However, despite the waning of the influence of the U.S. on global affairs, the EOP is still the highest political office in the world.
Expansion of Presidential Power
Historically, there has been continued expansion of presidential power. Soon after the formation of the presidency, presidents had limited power. Congress wielded so much power. Fear of monarchical tendencies is the main reason that made the Framers limit the powers of the presidency. However, the executive powers of the presidency were enough to protect the U.S. from foreign enemies. The executive powers of the EOP have increased gradually since its formation.
Presidents do not usually belong to parties that have a majority in Congress. This may limit the ability of presidents to pass bills that support their policies. Lack of congressional support is one of the main factors that has necessitated the increase in the executive powers of the presidency. Presidents can use a veto to reject a bill. Congress can overturn a presidential veto. However, to do so, it requires a two-thirds majority. Therefore, Congress has overturned very few presidential vetoes.
Acting against the will the public is the main reason that may lead to the limiting of the executive powers of the EOP. The Watergate tapes case is a clear illustration of how the Supreme Court may limit the powers of the EOP. The Supreme Court ruled that presidents do not have executive privilege to withhold information that was vital in criminal investigations. Presidents have strived to undertake policies that have the support of most members of the public.
This has prevented the reduction of the executive powers of the EOP. Terrorism is one of the major problems facing the U.S. Terrorism has increased the powers of the EOP. This enables the EOP to protect the country more effectively. However, presidents must have justifiable reasons to engage in strikes against terrorists.