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Powers of Congress

Chapter 11

on 31 October 2017

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Transcript of Powers of Congress

Powers of Congress
Nonlegislative Powers
Constitutional Amendments
Types of Congressional Powers
implied powers
powers reasonably deduced from expressed powers
non- legislative powers

these are powers and duties that are not related to making laws
Gibbons vs. Ogden (1824)
Electoral Duties
Executive Powers
Investigatory Power
Congress proposes amendments by 2/3 vote in each house
impeach: to accuse an official of misconduct in office
Impeachment (House)
Trial in the Senate
Presidential APPOINTMENTS are confirmed by Senate vote...
Treaties are made "by and with the Advice & Consent of the Senate..."
If no presidential candidate receives a majority of electoral votes (270), the election is decided by Congress. Comes out of the 12th Amendment
House elects the President
Senate elects the Vice President
Congress has the power to investigate and hold hearings any matter that falls within the scope of legislative powers
gather information
Oversee Executive Branch agencies
- Called an Oversight hearing
focus public attention
expose questionable activities
promote interests of members of Congress
In other words, only Congress can truly make that paper.
expressed powers
powers explicitly written in the Constitution

Found in Article I, Section 8
18 powers total
Also known as "enumerated powers"
This Clause is often called the "elastic clause" because it allows congress to stretch its powers to meet new needs

It is also known as the "necessary and proper clause," because it allows Congress to pass any laws that are necessary and proper to carry out its other powers

This clause is the foundation of the second type of Congressional Power:
Implied power
Money Powers
Expressed Money Powers
- Clause 1: lay and collect taxes to provide for the defense and general welfare of the United States
- Clause 2: Borrow Money
- Clause 4: Establish bankruptcy laws
- Clause 5: Coin, print, and regulate money
- Clause 6: Punish Counterfeiters of American currency
a number of Congress' expressed and implied powers deal with money
Implied Money Powers
-Clause 1: Lay and collect taxes implies the power to support public schools, welfare programs, public housing, etc.
- Clause 2: Borrow money implies the power to maintain the Federal Reserve Board
Commerce Power
Implied Commerce Power
- Clause 3: To regulate commerce implies the power to prohibit discrimination in restaurants, hotels, and other public accommodations
Expressed Commerce Power
- Clause 3: Regulate foreign and interstate commerce
Military and Foreign
Policy Powers
Expressed Military and Foreign Policy Powers
- Clause 11: Declare war
- Clauses 12, 13, 14: Raise, support, and regulate an army and navy
- Clauses 15 and 16: Provide, regulate, and call into service a militia, known as the National Guard
- Clause 10: Punish acts committed on international waters and the laws of nations
a number of Congress' expressed and implied powers deal with the defense of the country
Implied Military and Foreign Policy Powers
- Clauses 12, 13, 14: Raise and support an army implies the right to draft people into the armed services
Other Legislative Powers
Other Legislative Expressed Powers
- Clause 4: Establish laws of naturalization (becoming a citizen)
- Clause 7: Establish post offices and post roads
- Clause 8: Grant copyrights and patents
- Clause 9: Create lower federal courts
- Clause 17: Govern Washington, D.C.
- Clause 18: Provide for laws necessary and proper for carrying out all of the other listed powers (the Elastic Clause!)
a collection of other legislative powers of Congress
Other Legislative Implied Powers
- Establish laws of naturalization implies the power to limit the number of immigrants to the United States (Clause 4)
The Constitution allows Congress to remove from office any federal official (President, judges, etc.) involved in serious wrongdoing. It is a two step process.
Requires a Majority Vote
A 2/3rds vote is required to convict an official and remove him/her from office.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 has come to be known as the Commerce Clause. It is one of the most far-reaching grants of power to Congress
Congress has to power to protect patents, you know, for inventions ... like the Gerbil Vest.
But you knew that already, didn't you?
- noun - activities that relate to the buying and selling of goods and services
It was a case about steamboats and the Supreme Court's ruling greatly expanded the power of Congress through the Commerce Clause
"Interstate Commerce" covers all movement of people and things across state lines - including communications and transportation. Thus, if something related to commerce crosses a state border, Congress has power over it.
A classic example of Congress using this power is the outlawing of racial segregation.
There are three main types of congressional powers:
these powers are not explicitly stated in the Constitution, hence the are implied
Article I, Section 8, Clause 18
The Elastic Clause
imply - verb - to express (something) in an indirect way : to suggest (something) without saying or showing it plainly
The 3 main types break down into 4 categories:
Military and
Foreign Policy
Other Legislative
(Catch all)
implied powers and the elastic clause have been controversial since the Constitution was written
If the vice presidency is vacant, the president nominates a new one. Congress has the power to confirm the nomination.
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