The President and Congress
The President and Congress have an interesting relationship that can be explicated in a custom research paper. Paper Masters writers write political science and government research for any student, organization or publication that needs information.
As two independent elements of our federal government, the executive and legislative branches are predisposed to conflicts that can present difficulties in creating and implementing "coherent and positive programs to deal with national problems". As chief executive, the president is offered strong authority over many aspects of the government. At the same time, the Congress is given comparable power in "overseeing and checking" the activities of the other branches of government. It is also given the significant responsibility of maintaining a constitutional balance through legislature that is representative of the demands of the American people.When the purposes and objectives of these two powers are in opposition, controversy becomes inevitable.
One of the most significant precipitators of conflict between the executive and legislative branches of government is a split-party condition where the Congress and President are separated on party lines.This condition almost inherently offers the potential for conflicts over the political agendas of presidents and the congressional majority. Some past examples of this political condition include:
- Nixon in 1969
- Reagan in 1981
- Bush in 1989
A more recent example was demonstrated in 1997 when Clinton entered his second term under split-party conditions. Conflicts can arise in cases like these when a president's political agenda is not aligned with the objectives of Congress, which can create a "deadlock" over issues that must be handled by both branches.
Party divisions do not always prevent productive interaction between the President and Congress however, which was demonstrated throughout the Nixon-Ford presidencies.While the administrative terms of Nixon and Ford were periods of "high partisan conflict", there were seventy-four major laws enacted during that time.There are political scholars that suggest that such a divided government "invalidates the entire theory of party government and presidential leadership", however the productivity demonstrated in the Nixon-Ford presidencies indicates that the split-party condition does not always contribute to conflict.