I wrote earlier about the duties of the Vice President as explained in the Constitution. So I figured it would be a good time to do the same with the President’s duties. Here is a breakdown of the duties and powers of the President of the United States, as outlined in the Constitution, specifically Article II, Sections 2 and 3:

  • Veto laws passed by Congress
  • Commander in Chief of the military
  • May require in writing the opinion of any of the heads of the Executive departments
  • Grant pardons and reprieves for any crime other than impeachment
  • Make treaties with foreign nations, subject to the Senate then ratifying the treaty
  • Appoint ambassadors, judges, and other appointments, subject to the Senate consent
  • Make appointments when the Senate is recessed
  • Deliver the State of the Union address
  • Recommend laws he’d like to see passed
  • Convene and adjourn the House or Senate
  • Receive Ambassadors or Ministers, like heads of state
  • Take care that all the laws are faithfully executed
  • Commission all officers of the United States

Those are the President’s duties. If you see the President doing something that’s not in that list, it is something he has taken on beyond what is called for in the Constitution. For example, where does it say that the President needs to work on the economy of the nation? Where does it say the President needs to institute state-funded health care? Both of these fall under the category of recommending laws he’d like to see passed. But while the President may propose anything he’d like, Congress is limited to what they are allowed to pass. Article I Section 8 expressly states what Congress may pass, and neither the economy nor health care are in any of the items.

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