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CongressThe First Branch$
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Benjamin Ginsberg and Kathryn Wagner Hill

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300220537

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300220537.001.0001

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Congress, the President, and Domestic Policy: Who Governs?

Congress, the President, and Domestic Policy: Who Governs?

(p.183) 6 Congress, the President, and Domestic Policy: Who Governs?

Benjamin Ginsberg

Kathryn Wagner Hill

Yale University Press

This chapter looks at the patterns of conflict and cooperation between the president and Congress in the realm of domestic policy. Here, congressional power depends upon constituency, organization, and Congress's relationship to the executive. In the realm of domestic policy, its inability to solve this third problem has gradually pushed Congress into a subordinate role. This is because initiative in lawmaking has gradually passed from the Congress to the president, with most major pieces of legislation emanating from the White House. The president's role, in principle, is to execute the laws enacted by Congress. Nowhere does the Constitution suggest that the president is expected to take a lead role in lawmaking. Yet, many presidents have taken a broad view of their responsibilities, and, since the 1930s and Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, every president has proposed packages of programs and policies to the Congress.

Keywords:   president, executive branch, domestic policy, congressional power, lawmaking, legislation

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