How much influence does the President have over the legislative process? (15) Many powers that the President has, Congress will be able to check due to the checks and balances imposed by the Founding Fathers. The fact that the Government has separation of powers, it is hard to gain the agreement between the legislative branch and the executive branch which the President needs. One could argue that the president does have influence over the legislative process to an extent, but it is significantly restrained by the checks and balances put in place which the Founding Fathers imposed.
A key part of the legislative process is having a bill proposed. Whilst the President does have the power to do this, we must question how much influence he has over this. Congress has the power to amend, delay and even block the bills. The power to set the legislative agenda does not mean that the process will go according to plan. Even flagship legislation can fail, such as Congress defeating President Clinton’s flagship legislation which was intended to reform the health care system in 1994.
Congress can also delay a bill through filibustering, which is where any senator/senators can talk for as long as they can on a bill (essentially talk a bill to death) unless 60 of 100 Senators vote to bring the debate to a close. A President may choose to veto a bill, which would exercise the Presidents influence. However, Congress could choose to override it, which then questions how much influence the President then has over the legislative process The president has some choices as to what to do with the bill before it is passed.
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The President could simply just sign it into law, which is what could happen if he wanted to take some credit for the bill and agree on it all. However, he could just leave the bill on his desk, which shows he would have very little influence on the process, and could indicate that he may know a veto would be overridden. Overall, the President does have some influence over the legislative process, however if he were to veto legislation, he could face criticism in the media and this could affect his popularity and therefore to an extent, the President has some influence over the legislative process.
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