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Presidential influence on national policy

Presidentialinfluence on national policy


Thepresident of the United States being the head of state and thegovernment has some powers in consideration to the mandates bestowedupon him by the constitution. These have a direct influence on someof the policies within the nation. However, due to certain humanfactors, these powers range within certain limits such that theindividual occupying the position does not abuse office in what issimply referred to as a check. Given these checks, therefore, thereexist circumstances under which presidential influence on nationalpolicy may negatively or positively be affected. Some of these are asdiscussed below:

Thefirst incidence exists where the presidential powers are notsubjectable to challenge. There are instances in which the powers ofthe president cannot be tested and therefore the actions of thepresident are not subjected to scrutiny. For example “being thehead of state guarantees the president the authority to act onvarious foreign policies as the overall representative of theAmerican people” (Lang, 877). In such a case where the presidentialvoice is final, then his/her influence on the national policy will beof great significance.

Thesecond circumstance that may lead to success or failure ofpresidential influence on national policies is when the presidentialpowers to pass a bill call for support by the members of Congress.There are instances when the president is supposed to approve orreject a bill originating from either house of the Senate orCongress. Such authority is commonly referred to as veto power. Thisveto power to accept or dismiss a bill, however, depends on thesupport of a given number such as two-thirds of the majority in theCongress.

Ininstances where the president lacks support from the required numberthen the suggested policies may fail to be implemented.

Thethird example is in the case of public appointments. “During thenominations of various heads of state departments, the president caninfluence various policies in consideration to the particular holdersof such dockets and the long term visions they represent. This has adirect impact on the national policies, representative of thepresident’s vision” (Greenberg,540).

Whenthere exists a proper relationship between the presidency as theexecutive head and the legislative arm, or the official party hasgood control of either or both houses, there is a likelihood ofpositive policy influence based on cooperation.


Greenberg,David. Republicof Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency(W. W. Norton &amp Company, 2015). Xx, 540 pp.

Lang,J. Stephen. TheComplete Book of Presidential Trivia.Pelican Publishing. 2001. ISBN1-56554-877-9