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Current time:0:00Total duration:8:10
AP.GOPO:
CON‑4.A.2 (EK)

Video transcript

what we're going to do in this video is talk about the powers of the President of the United States and we're going to broadly divide them into two categories formal powers are those that are explicitly listed in the United States Constitution and we're also going to talk about informal powers a little bit in this video and a lot more depth into future videos the formal powers are listed in article 2 of the United States Constitution and it starts in section 1 where it says the executive power shall be vested in a president of the United States of America and this simple statement alone has a lot of implications as we will see it is used as a justification for many of the informal powers of the president the president is the executive they run the government Congress can pass laws and set budgets judicial branch can interpret laws or declare them unconstitutional but the executive power is vested in the president but the bulk of the powers are listed in section 2 and section 3 so let's read this together and let's see if we can classify these different powers as executive legislative foreign policy or military or judicial powers so section 2 of article 2 starts off with the President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and of the militia of the several states when called into the actual service of the United States so this is clearly a military power you have the President of the United States being in charge of the nation's military it then goes on to say he may require the opinion in writing of the principal officer in each of the executive departments upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices so this is clearly an executive power or an administrative power where he can go to the head of any of executive departments and say hey I need your opinion on something potentially in writing then it goes on to say and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States except in cases of impeachment so this is a judicial power grant reprieves and pardons for federal offenses then we read he shall have power by and with the advice and consent of the Senate to make treaties provided two thirds of the Senators present concur so this power to make treaties is clearly a foreign policy power although it does have to be ratified by the Senate and he shall nominate and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint ambassadors other public ministers and consuls judges of the Supreme Court and all other officers of the United States whose appointments are not here and otherwise provided for and which shall be established by law but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper in the president alone in the courts of law or in the heads of Department so all of these lines your talk about the president's power of appointment which is why I underlined it in the executive or the administrative color although it touches on appointments that affect these other powers so for example the appointment of ambassadors is clearly going to have foreign policy implications and judges of the Supreme Court this could have huge judicial implications so I will underline that in blue as well it then goes on to say and this is in relation to the appointments we just talked about the President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate because remember it just talked about how the Senate has to confirm appointments but the President does have the power to fill up vacancies while the Senate is in recess while they're not in session by granting Commission's which shall expire at the end of their next session and then in Section three we read he the president although it could be a she shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he or she shall judge necessary and expedient he may on extraordinary occasions convene both houses or either of them and in case of disagreement between them with respect to the time of adjournment he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper so these are always these are all powers that the president has in the legislative process and then it goes back to foreign policy he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed and shall commission all the officers of the United States this statement he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed in conjunction with what is sometimes known as the vesting clause which is at the very beginning of article 2 section 1 that simply States the executive power shall be vested in a president of the United States these two clauses combined have been used to justify what we will see are called informal powers which we will go into much more depth into future videos especially the power of the executive order and so in summary if we want to look at the executive powers of the president the power to take care that laws be faithfully executed nominating officials with confirmation from the Senate request written opinions of administrative officials fill administrative vacancies during recesses then you have the legislative powers present info on the State of the Union recommend legislation to Congress convenes on extraordinary occasions adjourn Congress if House and Senate cannot agree and can veto legislation although Congress can overrule with a two-thirds vote and then you have the foreign policy and military powers which include being commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces making treaties which have to be ratified by the Senate nominate ambassadors receive ambassadors and provide diplomatic recognition to other governments and then finally the judicial powers that we saw in article two reprieves and pardons for federal offenses and the power to nominate federal judges including US Supreme Court judges now as I touched on these are the formal powers but there's also what are known as informal powers and we'll talk more about these in other videos the president has a unique role in the federal government and in national discourse as a whole and because of that they have a lot of bargaining and persuasion power now as we also touched on we have an informal power of executive orders which is derived from the formal powers to take care that laws be faithfully executed and the fact that the power of the executive is vested in the president you also have things called signing statements which we'll do future videos on which is when a law gets passed by Congress the president can issue a document known as a signing statement which interprets that law and as you can imagine and that interpretation of the law could be very very influential and then you also have executive agreements these are agreements with foreign governments that do not have to be ratified by the US Senate so they're not formal treaties but they can be agreements with governments so I will leave you there as you can see the president has many tools at their disposal to influence the policy-making process in future videos we will talk more about these especially the informal powers