Now, let’s take a look at the Office of the President. It is true that, as Head of State, the President has some significant powers. He (or she, as it may one day happen) commands the Armed Forces. S/he has the power to sign or veto legislation. The President may negotiate and enter into treaties with foreign governments. S/he can appoint ambassadors, judges and heads of federal agencies. However, these powers are subject to Congressional constraints; such actions must have the approval of Congress. This is an important aspect of American government that too few people understand (particularly since civics is not always taught effectively in our public schools, anymore). Except in rare cases, a President cannot do anything if Congress stands in the way.
Since the day he took office, Congress has blocked President Obama at almost every turn. Senator Mitch McConnell infamously announced the GOP’s intention to make Obama a “one-term president.”
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