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granting reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment (M1).
He can make treaties with foreigri powers provided two thirds of the Senators present concur in the confirmation of the same. Subject to confirmation by the Senate, he appoints ambassadors, other public ministers, consuls, and the greater Federal officers—such as the heads of the executive departments—and judges of the United States Courts. He also appoints all other officers of the United States whose appointment is not otherwise provided for by law (M2). A great number of subordinate officers, such as certain postmasters and revenue officers, are appointed without the participation of the Senate. The executive business of the United States Government requires the services of over two hundred thousand persons. The President has the power to fill all vacancies which occur during the recess of the Senate by granting commissions which expire at the end of the next session (M).
He may summon either or both houses of Congress in extra session; and in case of disagreement between them with regard to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he may think proper, but not beyond the day fixed for the beginning of the next regular session. He may require from the members of his Cabinet at any time written opinions upon any subject concerning the duties of their respective offices. He commissions all officers of the United States, and receives ambassadors and other public ministers (N).
The President's Message.--In annual messages to Congress the President makes reports on the state of public affairs, and suggests such legislation as the needs of the country seem to him to require. He thus exerts an initiative power in reference to laws. Besides these annual messages, the President
may at any time send to Congress a special message relating to matters which require immediate attention (N).
The President's Veto Power.-The President exercises legislative functions in which he is practically a distinct branch of the legislative power-a third house—but for negative purposes only. He signs or vetoes all bills and resolutions passed by Congress, except a resolution to adjourn. It has been decided also that his consent is not required to a Constitutional amendment. The President's veto power, as a means of guarding the country against unwise legislation, has proved to be one of the most valuable features of the Constitution. Under ordinary circumstances, this connection of the President with the legislative power serves as a delicate balancing element of strength to the Nation. The strength of Congress consists in its power to pass laws; the strength of the President lies in his power to veto them. Yet in moments of great public danger, as in the Civil War, the President's power becomes immense. A loyal Congress, feeling the need of swift and oftentimes secret decisions, practically puts its lawmaking powers at the disposal of the President.
Was there any President under the Confederation? Why?
What is the necessity for having an executive department in government? Show that the framers of the Constitution of the United States acted wisely in placing the Executive power in the hands of one person.
Describe the Confederation of 1781. What were the most important powers of the Confederation? What were its defects? Why were the Articles of Confederation displaced by the present Constitution?
Have you read the President's recent or last annual message?
What must be the qualifications of a President as to residence, citizenship, and age? What are the qualifications for the office of Vice President?
What officer in Pennsylvania corresponds in relative office to the Vice President of the United States ?
What is the greatest duty of the President? What are his constitutional powers and duties? What are the duties of the Vice President?
What defects in the Articles of Confederation made the central government weak ?
What influence has the President upon the action of Congress? What has been the general record of our Presidents?
Should the President be chosen for a term of six years, and then be ineligible for a second term? What Presidents have been chosen for a second term ?
Give an account of a Presidential campaign. What is the duty of a Presidential Elector? How many Electoral votes has this State?
Describe the present method of electing a President. When do Presidential elections occur?
What was the purpose of the framers of the Constitution in providing that the President should be chosen by Electors rather than by popular vote? Has their purpose been realized in this mode of Election? Give reasons for your answers.
How many delegates are chosen from each State to the National Convention of each great political party? How are the Territories and Districts represented ?
Describe the successive steps in the election of a President. Should the President be elected by popular vote?
State how Presidential Electors are chosen, and how they vote. What were the defects in the original method of electing a President? How many Presidential Electors in the Electoral College of Pennsylvania ? Where did the Electors of this State meet?
When may the House of Representatives elect a President? When may the Senate elect a Vice President?
Show how a minority of the people may elect a President. Name the Minority Presidents. Discuss the topic "Minority Presidents.”
In what respect is the solidity of the Electoral Colleges of the several States a safeguard ?
What dangers have arisen during the Presidential contests? What was the Electoral Commission? How was the Hayes-Tilden contest decided ?
In case the President and Vice President should both die or be re. moved, how would the Presidency be filled ?
What reasons can you give for not allowing the Vice President to preside at an impeachment trial when the President is accused ?
Can the President have his salary increased ?
What is the salary of the President? What name is given to his official residence ?
Discuss the inauguration of the President. When does it occur?
What power has the Senate in reference to treaties and Presidential appointments? Is this a legislative function?
Discuss the powers and duties of the President of the United States. By whom are the Governors of Territories appointed ?
To what extent has the President the power of appointment? The power of removal ?
What share does the President take in the making of the laws?
Is the pardoning power a judicial or an executive function? Is the veto power of the President an executive or a legislative function?
Which Presidents have been elected by the House of Representatives? Has a Vice President ever been chosen by the Senate?
What is the smallest number of Senators that could elect a Vice President?
Who is now President? Who is Vice President?
How is a vacancy in the office of Vice President filled? Does the Vice President take an “oath of office"?
President Grant was reëlected in November, 1872, and his new term began March 4, 1873. Meanwhile the salary of the President was increased to $50,000. Did President Grant get the increase? Why?
THE CABINET: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS
The Cabinet Officers.—The executive business of the Government cannot be performed by the President alone; hence to aid him in the discharge of his duties, he appoints a “Cabinet” by and with the consent of the Senate. There are nine Cabinet officers, each in charge of a special department of the executive business. They are the private counselors or advisers of the President, and each is directly responsible to him for the management of a department. The members of the Cabinet are:
I. Secretary of State.
As a body the Cabinet has no legal existence. The meetings are held in the Executive Mansion, but no record of the proceedings is kept, and the President is not bound to follow the advice of the members. The individual members, as heads of executive departments, may also disregard the advice of the Cabinet and assume the responsibility of action.