Presidential signing statements are presidential announcements during te tme of signing of a congressional enactment. It provides the presidents general comment on the
Presidential signing statements are important, if generally little known, instruments
of presidential direct action. They can and have been used as line-item vetoes of
legislation presented to the president for signature or veto but without the use of the
formal veto or the opportunity for legislative override processes. A study of the first Bush
administration reveals wide-ranging assertions of exclusive authority and court-like pronouncements
that redefine legislative powers under the Constitution. They reveal a systematic
effort to define presidential authority in terms of the broad conception of the
prerogative both internationally and domestically under the unitary executive theory.
Prompt: The United States constitution is the highest governing document or the republics supreme law of the United States. It was adopted as the supreme law in 17th September 1787 by the constitutional convention held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was later to be ratified by the people of the republic in all the constituent states to start with the phrase “we the people”. Since its drafting, ratification and subsequent amendments it has withstood the tests of time to end up being one of the best constitutions in the world today.
1. Discuss two central problems that Dahl finds with the Constitution. What does he propose to do about these problems? What does he claim will be done about them?
2. Explain the role of the President articulated in the various readings in Dahl, Katz, Cooper, Hacker and Pierson and Kristol. In doing so, address the following. What are signing statements and how may they be problematic? What is the `myth of the presidential mandate?` Was Bush given a mandate following the 2004 election? If so, what does this mean?
3. Discuss the process of appropriations in Katz and the issue of pork in Congress in Cohn and Paige. What is the appropriations process? What is pork and why is it considered either wasteful or democratic?
4. Elaborate on the judicial system and its relationship with American culture. Draw upon the chapter in Katz and on the arguments from Hamilton, Balkin, and Scalia and regarding what the Supreme Court does and how its members should interpret the Constitution. Explain the role of the Supreme Court, originalism, the living constitution and which approach to interpretation (originalism or the living constitution) Hamilton would have supported.
In addition to the files, please referance the following books:
1) Political Institutions of Goverance in the United States. By R Katz 1st ed. Oxford University Press, 2006
2) How Democratic is the American COnstitution?. By R Dahl. 2nd ed. Yale University Press, 2003
Pork-barrel spending, whether it’s for therapeutic horseback riding, the Grammy Foundation, and combating teen “goth” culture, in Blue Springs, Mo., regularly leaves taxpayers cringing. But the recent indictment of Washington super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has spotlighted pork’s larger dangers: More than merely wasteful, pork invites corruption, encourages big government, distracts lawmakers from vigorous oversight, and surrenders lawmaker independence.
First, a definition. Originally, lawmakers would fund government grant programs and then let federal and state agencies select individual grant recipients through a competitive application process or by formula. Now, Congress actually determines, within the legislation, who will receive government grants by “earmarking” money to specific recipients. Earmarks are also known as “pork projects” because they bring the bacon home to districts.
Since 1996, the number of annual pork projects in appropriations bills has skyrocketed from 958 to 13,999 – at an annual cost of $27 billion. Additionally, the pork count in the six-year highway bills surged from 10 in 1982, to 6,371 in last year’s bill (including the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere”). While many of these grants are obviously wasteful and unnecessary, even the productive grants raise the question of why the U.S. Congress should micromanage local decisions such as where to build a traffic light in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
In addition, the practice of allowing lawmakers to individually decide who receives federal grants invites corruption. Congressional e-mail messages made public show that, on certain bills, each lawmaker is given his or her own individual pot of tax dollars (often more than $20 million apiece, based on lawmaker rank) to distribute as he or she wishes. Not surprisingly, much of this money goes to the highest bidder. While explicit trades of campaign donations for pork are difficult to prove, the link between the two is no secret. These are your tax dollars being auctioned for campaign donations.
Lobbyists serve as well-paid middlemen bringing businesses, organizations and local governments to the lawmakers who can provide them with earmarks. So confident are these lobbyists of their access and power that some have reportedly gone to local governments and virtually guaranteed that, for a large fee, they can steer federal grants their way. Not surprisingly, from 2000 through 2004, the number of appropriations lobbyists surged from 1,865 to 3,523, and lobbying became the easiest way in Washington to become a millionaire.
The task of selecting a share of the 14,000 annual pork projects has become an all-encompassing endeavor for many congressional offices. Gathering earmark requests, meeting with lobbyists, and working to secure a coveted seat on the pork-writing Appropriations Committee leaves little time for the traditional congressional duties of overseeing government and reforming outdated programs. Thus, in recent years, layers of government waste have gone virtually ignored, and bloated agencies have failed to deliver basic services.
Finally, pork leads to bigger government. Lawmakers who come to Washington to scale back government quickly get hooked on pork by their senior colleagues, who assert that re-election can be won only through the massive campaign contributions and “bring home the bacon” press releases that pork provides. And if pork-barrel spending will buy votes back home, wouldn’t an expensive farm bill also buy rural votes? And perhaps a Medicare drug benefit will buy senior votes?
Even pork-seeking lawmakers who otherwise retain their commitment to fiscal responsibility surrender their independence to vote against runaway spending. Bill writers often incorporate only the pork projects of lawmakers who commit to voting for the entire spending bill (which makes pork a key way for senior lawmakers to control the votes of their junior colleagues.) Consequently, lawmakers vote for massive, wasteful $700 billion spending bills simply to guarantee $1 million for a bridge in their district, and the House passes a notorious, pork-laden highway bill with the “Bridge to Nowhere” by an overwhelming 412 to 8 margin. Only a handful of lawmakers resist earmarks.
What’s the solution? Lawmakers assert that they, rather than federal bureaucrats and state governments, are qualified to distribute government grants in their districts. If so, why not dissolve the federal bureaucracy and relevant state agencies? Lobbying reform is also helpful, but as long as lawmakers continue to distribute government grants, organizations will find a way to lobby and financially influence them.
A better idea: A one-year pork moratorium, during which time Congress enact a permanent prohibition against legislation specifying which businesses, organizations or locations will
receive federal grants. Then, grant-seekers will actually have to justify their projects to federal and state agencies, and lawmakers will be free to oversee and rein in runaway government.
Brian Riedl is Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
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Wiktionary, the free dictionary.This page is about candidates for degrees and humble petitioners; for information on the computing term see Supplicant (computer); for the sexual term, see Supplicant (BDSM)
A Supplicant, one who supplicates, is a term to applied to humble petitioners, and in particular to University of Oxford students who have qualified but not yet been admitted into their degree.
At both Oxford and Cambridge, students are presented during the degree ceremony with a form of words that begins with the Latin verb "supplicant". The Cambridge text is:
"Supplicant reverentiis vestris viri mulieresque quorum nomina juxta senaculum in porticu proposuit hodie Registrarius nec delevit Procancellarius ut gradum quisque quem rite petivit assequantur."
"Those men and women whose names the Registrary has today posted in the arcade beside the Senate-House and which the Vice-Chancellor has not deleted beg your reverences that they may proceed to the degree for which each has properly applied."
However, these students are referred to as graduands at Cambridge and most universities other than Oxford. A search in older editions of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Webster’s Collegiate and other respected dictionaries does not yield this word, so it seems to have a recent or regional source. There is certainly a need for such a word to describe qualified, embryonic graduates and it seems possible that U.S. sources provided or resurrected "graduand" into current usage.
Mandate can refer to:
Mandate (international law), an obligation handed down by an inter-governmental body
Mandate (politics), the power granted by an electorate
League of Nations mandates, quasi-colonial territories established under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, 28 June 1919
Mandate (theology), to some Christians, an order from God
a mandate is the formal notice of decision from an appeals court
Mandate (trade union), the trade union in Ireland
Mandate magazine, a gay pornographic magazine published since the 1970s
Mandate of Heaven, a traditional Chinese concept of legitimacy used to support the rule of the kings of the Shang Dynasty and later the Emperors of China
A pork barrel (or pork barrel politics) describes government spending that is intended to benefit constituents of a politician in return for their political support, either in the form of campaign contributions or votes. The term is thought to have originated on Southern United States plantations, where slaves were allocated the unwanted remainder of slaughtered pigs, or the "pork barrel." Typically it involves funding for government programs whose economic or service benefits are concentrated in a particular area but whose costs are spread among all taxpayers. Public works projects and agricultural subsidies are the most commonly cited examples, but they do not exhaust the possibilities. Pork barrel spending is often allocated through last-minute additions to appropriation bills. A politician who supplies his or her constituents with considerable funding is said to be "bringing home the bacon."
The Committee on Appropriations, or Appropriations Committee (often referred to as simply "Appropriations", as in "He’s on Appropriations") is a committee of the United States House of Representatives. It is in charge of setting the specific expenditures of money by the government of the United States. As such, it is one of the most powerful of the committees, and its members are seen as influential.
3 Members, 110th Congress
3.1 Committee reorganization during the 110th Congress
4.1 Select Intelligence Oversight Panel
5 Chairmen, 1865-present
6 See also
7 External link
The constitutional basis for the Appropriations Committee comes from Article one, Section nine,
Clause seven of the U.S. Constitution, which states that:
No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.
This clearly delegated the power of appropriating money to Congress, but was vague beyond that. Originally, the power of appropriating was taken by the Committee on Ways and Means, but the United States Civil War placed a large burden on the Congress, and at the end of that conflict, a reorganization occurred.
The Committee was created on December 11, 1865, when the House separated the tasks of the Committee on Ways and Means into three parts. The passage of legislation affecting taxes remained with Ways and Means. The power to regulate banking was transferred to the Committee on Banking and Commerce. The power to appropriate money–to control the federal pursestrings–was given to the newly-created Appropriations Committee.
At the time the membership of the committee stood at nine; it currently has 66 members. The power of the committee has only grown since its founding; many of its members and chairmen have gone on to even higher posts. For example, three of them–Samuel Randall (D-PA), Joseph Cannon (R-IL), and Joseph Byrns (D-TN)–have gone on to become the Speaker of the House, and one, James Garfield, has gone on to become President.
The root of the Committee’s power is its ability to disburse funds, and thus as the federal budget has risen, so has the power of the Appropriations Committee. The first budget of the U.S., in 1789, was for $639,000–a hefty sum for the time, but a much smaller amount relative to the economy than the federal budget would later become. By the time the Appropriations committee was founded, the Civil War and inflation had raised expenditures to roughly $1.3 billion, increasing the clout of Appropriations. Expenditures continued to follow this pattern–rising sharply during wars before settling down–for over 100 years.
Another important development for Appropriations occurred in the presidency of Warren G. Harding. Harding was the first President to deliver a budget proposal to Congress (see United States budget process).
In the early 1970s, the Appropriations committee faced a crisis. President Richard Nixon began "impounding" funds, not allowing them to be spent, even when Congress had specifically appropriated money for a cause. This was essentially a line-item veto. Numerous court cases were filed by outraged interest groups and members of Congress. Eventually, the sense that Congress needed to regain control of the budget process led to the adoption of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which finalized the budget process in its current form.
The Appropriations committee is widely recognized by political scientists as one of the "power committees," since it holds the power of the purse. Openings on the Appropriations committee are often hotly demanded, and are doled out as rewards. Much of the power of the committee
comes from the inherent utility of controlling spending. Its subcommittee chairmen are often called "Cardinals" because of the power they wield over the budget.
Since Congress is elected from single-member districts, the status of a member’s district is the best indicator as to whether or not he or she will be reelected. One way to achieve popularity in one’s district is to it bring federal spending, thus creating jobs and raising economic performance. This type of spending is often derided by critics as pork barrel spending, while those who engage in it generally defend it as necessary and appropriate expenditure of government funds. The members of the Appropriations committee can do this better than most, and as such the appointment is regarded as a plus. This help can also be directed towards other members, increasing the stature of committee members in the House and helping them gain support for leadership positions or other honors.
The committee tends to be less partisan than other committees or the House overall. While the minority party will offer amendments during committee consideration, appropriations bills often get significant bipartisan support, both in committee and on the House floor. This atmosphere can be attributed to the fact that all committee members have a compelling interest in ensuring legislation will contain money for their own districts. Conversely, because members of this committee can easily steer money to their home districts, it is considered very difficult to unseat a member of this committee at an election–especially if he or she is a "Cardinal."
In addition, the ability to appropriate money is useful to lobbyists and interest groups; as such, being on Appropriations makes it easier to collect campaign contributions (see campaign finance).
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