The most important powers include the power to tax, to borrow money, to regulate commerce and currency, to declare war, and to raise armies and maintain the navy. These powers give Congress the authority to set policy on the most basic matters of war and peace.
These include the power to declare war, coin money, raise an army and navy, regulate commerce, establish rules of immigration and naturalization, and establish the federal courts and their jurisdictions.
Congress is responsible for making enabling laws to make sure the spirit of the constitution is upheld in the country and, at times, amend or change the constitution itself. In order to craft laws, the legislative body comes out with two main documents: bills and resolutions.
The enumerated powers of Congress are laid in out in Section 8 of the Article I. The eighteen enumerated powers are explicitly stated in Article I, Section 8. Power to tax and spend for the general welfare and the common defense.
Among the express powers of Congress as defined in the Constitution are the power to lay and collect taxes, borrow money on the credit of the United States, regulate commerce, coin money, declare war, raise and support armies, and make all laws necessary for the execution of its powers.
Today, there are four remaining relevant powers denied to Congress in the U.S. Constitution: the Writ of Habeas Corpus, Bills of Attainder and Ex Post Facto Laws, Export Taxes and the Port Preference Clause.
Implied powers come from the Constitution’s “Elastic Clause,” which grants Congress power to pass any laws considered “necessary and proper” for effectively exercising its “enumerated” powers. Laws enacted under the implied powers doctrine and justified by the Elastic Clause are often controversial and hotly debated.
Congress has five main functions: lawmaking, representing the people, performing oversight, helping constituents, and educating the public.
Through legislative debate and compromise, the U.S. Congress makes laws that influence our daily lives. It holds hearings to inform the legislative process, conducts investigations to oversee the executive branch, and serves as the voice of the people and the states in the federal government.
The Constitution explicitly assigns the president the power to sign or veto legislation, command the armed forces, ask for the written opinion of their Cabinet, convene or adjourn Congress, grant reprieves and pardons, and receive ambassadors.
Most important enumerated power is that the Constitution explicitly grants Congress, the power to declare war.
Congress is considered the most important branch because it is the branch that is the most responsive to the people. One reason why it is responsive (in theory) is due to the frequency of elections (they pay attention to what the constituents want). What does the Constitution say about Congressional Elections?
While not granted by the Constitution, inherent powers are a reasonable and logical extension of the powers delegated to the president and Congress. Examples of inherent powers include regulating immigration, acquiring territory, and ending labor strikes.
Delegated (sometimes called enumerated or expressed) powers are specifically granted to the federal government in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. This includes the power to coin money, to regulate commerce, to declare war, to raise and maintain armed forces, and to establish a Post Office.
Enumerated powers, sometimes called expressed powers, are given directly by the Constitution. Examples of these powers include the power to declare war, regulate foreign and interstate commerce, conduct foreign relations, coin money, and raise and maintain a military (Article 1, Section 8).
Congress has numerous prohibited powers dealing with habeas corpus, regulation of commerce, titles of nobility, ex post facto and taxes.
An example of implied power is when Congress passes legislation on national health care based on the power granted to Congress by the Constitution to collect taxes and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.
The four types of committees in Congress are standing, select, joint, and conference. Standing committees are permanent committees that are generally more powerful than other types of committees.
The primary function of Congress is to pass rules that all Americans must obey. Members must please their constituents if they want to stay in office, and every issue must therefore be considered from the perspectives of those constituents. You just studied 3 terms!
Members of Congress represent the people of their district in the United States Congress by holding hearings, as well as developing and voting on legislation. All bills must pass Congress before they can go to the President to be signed into law.
To make laws is the primary job of Congress. ALL members of Congress MUST live in the state the elects them.
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