Following are the major powers and functions of U.S. President
Head of National Administration
He is the Chief Executive and as such it is his duty to see that the laws and the treaties are enforced throughout country.
He has the power to make all important appointments but all such appointments are to be approved by the Senate. As a matter of usage, the, Senate does not interfere in the appointments of the Secretaries, Ambassadors, and other diplomats. But the appointments of Judges of the Supreme Court must be scrutinized thoroughly by the Senate In the appointments of federal officers in various states of the U.S.A. the convention called “Senatorial Courtesy” has come into existence. The constitution of the USA says that the federal appointments arc to be made by the President and approved by the Senate. The President has no time to look into all appointments, which number in thousand. So he has delegated his power to make appointments to the Senators from the state where there is a vacancy. The only condition is that the Senators must belong to his party. The appointments made by the Senators are approved by the Senate out of courtesy. The President has the power to remove any person appointed by him except judges.
Dictator in Foreign Relations
The President has control of foreign relations, which he conducts with the assistance of the Secretary of State. He appoints all Ambassadors and other Diplomats. He negotiates treaties with foreign powers. But such treaties must be ratified by a 2/3rd majority of the Senate. The Senate can block a treaty that the President has negotiated but it connote make a treaty or force the President to make one. The President receives Ambassadors and ministers from abroad. In fact, he is the Chief Spokesman of the U.S.A. in international affairs and is directly responsible for the foreign policy of his country and its results. He has the sole power to recognize or refuse to recognize new states.
Commander-in-Chief / Powers of Defence
He is the Commander-in-Chief of the US-armed forces as such he is responsible for the defence of his country. He appoints military-officers with the consent of the Senate and can remove them at will. He can send American forces to any part of the world. Again, it is for the President to decide in time of war and aggression when and where and whether the H-bomb should be dropped. He cannot, however, declare war without the consent of Congress. But he can handle the international situation in such a way as to make war inevitable; American forces were ordered to undertake police action in Korea in 1951 without a declaration of war.
The constitution of the USA is based upon the theory of the Separation of Powers. The executive and the legislative branches of the government are made independent of each other. So in strict theory, Congress legislates and the President executes. In practice, however, the President has become a very important legislator. His legislative powers are as follows:
The President is required by the constitution to send messages to Congress giving it information regarding the, state0, of the Union. Sometimes these messages contain concrete proposals: for legislation. The Congress cannot easily ignore such legislative proposals as they come from a very high authority.
He can influence Congress by the use of his “Veto”. All Bills passed by Congress are presented to the President for assent. The President may refuse to sign a Bill and send it back to the House in which it originated within 10 days of the receipt of the Bill. Congress can override a veto by passing the Bill again: The only condition is that the Bill must be passed by a 2/31-d majority in each House. So the veto of the President is only suspensive one. But sometimes it becomes difficult to secure a 2/3″d majority in each House. In that case the suspensive veto becomes an absolute one. If a Bill is sent to the President and he neither signs the Bill nor returns it to Congress, the Bill becomes a law within 10 clays even without his signature. The only condition is that Congress must be in session. If Congress adjourns in the meantime, the Bill is automatically killed. This is called Pocket Veto. This means that the President can simply ignore the Bill (“put it in his pocket”) if it is passed by Congress on a date less than 10 days before it adjourn. Many Bills passed towards the close of the session of the Congress are killed in this way.
The President can call special sessions of Congress. It is true that he cannot compel Congress to accept his legislative recommendations. But, if he is backed by a strong and solid public opinion, he can easily achieve his object.
The President can also issue certain executive orders having the force of law. This is known as the Ordinance power, of the President. The number of such executive orders is very large. As a result of this the President has been able to, increase his legislative influence tremendously.
The President has powerful weapons of patronage in his hands to influence Congress. Members of Congress want jobs for their relatives, friends and supporters. The President is in a position to oblige them in this matter. He makes bargains with members to seek their support for legislative measures on which he has set his heart.
In recent times, the President of America have used the device of taking Congressional leaders into confidence by holding personal conferences with them. By this method, the President is able to secure their support for his legislative measures.
In theory, it is Congress, .which controls the public purse. In practice, the budget is prepared under the guidance and supervision of the President. Of course, Congress is at liberty to change the badge proposals, but generally it seldom does it.
The President has the power to grant pardon and reprieve to all offenders against federal laws, except those who have been impeached or those who have offended against the State (country). He also appoints the Judges of Supreme Court, no doubt on the consent of Senate.