Article I Section 8: Powers of           Congress
Art. I Sect. 8: Powers of CongressOverview: The Constitution specifically lists (enumerates) what powers are given to Cong...
1. Power to tax- To impose & collect taxes, duties, imposts & excisesduties & imposts = taxes paid on imports by businesse...
Power to tax cont.What is Congress authorized to spend tax money on?
Power to tax cont.What is Congress authorized to spend tax money on?- to pay debts of the United States- to provide for th...
Power to tax cont.What is Congress authorized to spend tax money on?- to pay debts of the United States- to provide for th...
General WelfareJames Madison: favored a narrower interpretation in which  Congress was limited to spending only on areas r...
2. Power to Borrow MoneyThis is done by issuing Treasury bonds and by loaning  money from banks & foreign investors- Defic...
2. Power to Borrow MoneyThis is done by issuing Treasury bonds and by loaning  money from banks & foreign investors- Defic...
2. Power to Borrow MoneyThis is done by issuing Treasury bonds and by loaning  money from banks & foreign investors- Defic...
3. Power to regulate commerce  foreign nations, the Indians, and           between statesCommerce = ?
3. Power to regulate commerce with  foreign nations, the Indians, and           between statesCommerce = trade or exchange...
4. Power to regulate naturalization &          bankruptcy lawsNaturalization = ?
4. Power to regulate naturalization &          bankruptcy lawsNaturalization = process by which an immigrant can become a ...
4. Power to regulate naturalization &          bankruptcy lawsNaturalization = process by which an immigrant can become a ...
5. Power to control currency &       weights & measurementsOnly the federal govt can issue coins and paper moneyThe metric...
5. Power to control currency &       weights & measurementsOnly the federal govt can issue coins and paper moneyThe metric...
6. Power to punish counterfeitingCounterfeit = ?
6. Power to punish counterfeitingCounterfeit = to make an imitation or forgery of something, in this case moneyNote: This ...
7. Power to establish post offices &            post-roadsDoes this mean that the post office has to be run by the federal...
7. Power to establish post offices &            post-roadsDoes this mean that the post office has to be run by the federal...
8. Power to issue copyrights and               patentsCopyright = ?Patent = ?
8. Power to issue copyrights and               patentsCopyright = protects creators of written and other works from having...
9. Power to establish courts other     than the Supreme CourtTop court: Supreme CourtNext level: 13 Circuit Courts and the...
10. Power to punish piracyPiracy = ?
10. Power to punish piracyPiracy = robbing ships on the high seasCongress defines these crimes and sets the penalties for ...
11. Power to declare warOnly Congress can officially declare war.Even though the President is Commander-in-Chief of the  A...
11. Power to declare war, etc.Only Congress can declare war.Even though the President is Commander-in-Chief of the  Armed ...
11. Letters of marque & reprisal, capture of enemies & their goodsLetters of marque & reprisal = were used to allow privat...
12 & 13. Power to raise & fund an         army and a navyCongress can set up an army and a navy (obviously, they did not k...
12 & 13. Power to raise & fund an         army and a navyCongress can set up an army and a navy (obviously, they did not k...
12 & 13. Power to raise & fund an         army and a navyCongress can set up an army and a navy (obviously, they did not k...
14. Power to make rules for the          armed servicesAre active-duty military personnel under the same laws as  the rest...
14. Power to make rules for the          armed servicesAre active-duty military personnel under the same laws as  the rest...
15. Power to call state militias into               actionWhat do we call the modern militia?
15. Power to call state militias into               actionWhat do we call the modern militia?- the National GuardUnder wha...
15. Power to call state militias into               actionWhat do we call the modern militia?- the National GuardUnder wha...
16. Power to organize, arm & discipline militia; States appointed       officers & trained themThe states no longer appoin...
17. Power to make laws for the    District of Columbia and other           federal propertiesDC = area in which the nation...
17. Power to make laws for the    District of Columbia and other           federal propertiesDC = area in which the nation...
17. Power over federal landsBesides DC, what other types of properties are also included  under this power?
17. Power over federal landsBesides DC, what other types of properties are also included  under this power?- national park...
18. Necessary & Proper Clause or        the Elastic ClauseThis gives Congress power to do whatever it needs to do in  orde...
18. Necessary & Proper Clause or        the Elastic ClauseThis gives Congress power to do whatever it needs to do in  orde...
Elastic Clause cont.What check is there on Congresss power under this clause?
Elastic Clause cont.What check is there on Congresss power under this clause?- the Supreme Courts rulings, but they usuall...
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Week 6.2 powers of congress

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Week 6.2 powers of congress

  1. 1. Article I Section 8: Powers of Congress
  2. 2. Art. I Sect. 8: Powers of CongressOverview: The Constitution specifically lists (enumerates) what powers are given to Congress and what powers are not given to the states. In other words, if a power is not listed in Art. I Sect. 8, then Congress is not authorized to do it. On the other hand, if a power is not forbidden to the states, and not listed in Section 8, then it is reserved to the states and to the people. Congress should not be involved. See Amendment X.Note also that the powers are not meant to overlap between the states and Congress.What are the powers that are delegated to Congress?
  3. 3. 1. Power to tax- To impose & collect taxes, duties, imposts & excisesduties & imposts = taxes paid on imports by businesses importing those goodsexcises = taxes on luxury and optional items such as jewelry, tobacco, alcohol, and yachts- Note: These taxes have to be uniform throughout the country. Any taxes levied on the population are supposed to be equal throughout the land and are called direct taxes. Amendment XVI which instituted the federal income tax in 1913 changed this.
  4. 4. Power to tax cont.What is Congress authorized to spend tax money on?
  5. 5. Power to tax cont.What is Congress authorized to spend tax money on?- to pay debts of the United States- to provide for the common defense- to provide for the general welfareThis last phrase is the troublesome one. What does it mean?
  6. 6. Power to tax cont.What is Congress authorized to spend tax money on?- to pay debts of the United States- to provide for the common defense- to provide for the general welfareThis last phrase is the troublesome one. What does it mean?- Whatever Congress wants it to mean as long as the Supreme Court goes along with it
  7. 7. General WelfareJames Madison: favored a narrower interpretation in which Congress was limited to spending only on areas related to the enumerated powers listed in the ConstitutionAlexander Hamilton favored a broader interpretation in which Congress could spend on things outside the enumerated powers as long as the spending benefited all Americans rather than a smaller group within the nation. Hamiltons view has prevailed, although without the restriction in italics above.Examples: Entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and now Obamacare, which is under Supreme Court scrutiny as well as spending on the arts, education (federal student loans), research, etc.
  8. 8. 2. Power to Borrow MoneyThis is done by issuing Treasury bonds and by loaning money from banks & foreign investors- Deficit = ?- National Debt = ?
  9. 9. 2. Power to Borrow MoneyThis is done by issuing Treasury bonds and by loaning money from banks & foreign investors- Deficit = annual amount that the govt spends over what it receives in revenue that year- National Debt = accumulation of all the budget deficits to dateWhat is a legitimate reason for the govt to borrow money?
  10. 10. 2. Power to Borrow MoneyThis is done by issuing Treasury bonds and by loaning money from banks & foreign investors- Deficit = annual amount that the govt spends over what it receives in revenue that year- National Debt = accumulation of all the budget deficits to dateWhat is a legitimate reason for the govt to borrow money?- To fund a war or possibly some other emergency. Unfortunately, our govt now runs a deficit as a matter of course whether or not there is an emergency.
  11. 11. 3. Power to regulate commerce foreign nations, the Indians, and between statesCommerce = ?
  12. 12. 3. Power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, the Indians, and between statesCommerce = trade or exchange of goodsNote: States can only regulate trade within their own borders. Once something crosses state or national boundary lines, Congress is in chargeUnfortunately, through a series of Supreme Court rulings, this power has been greatly expanded so that the federal govt and its agencies intervene in business matters through a mass of federal laws and regulations. (Wickard v. Filburn)Known as the Commerce Clause
  13. 13. 4. Power to regulate naturalization & bankruptcy lawsNaturalization = ?
  14. 14. 4. Power to regulate naturalization & bankruptcy lawsNaturalization = process by which an immigrant can become a citizenThus, Congress sets the requirements for citizenshipBankruptcy = ?
  15. 15. 4. Power to regulate naturalization & bankruptcy lawsNaturalization = process by which an immigrant can become a citizenThus, Congress sets the requirements for citizenshipBankruptcy = method by which a debtor is declared unable to pay his creditors.Bankruptcy laws & naturalization laws are uniform throughout the country so that it isnt easier or harder to declare bankruptcy or gain citizenship in one state than another.
  16. 16. 5. Power to control currency & weights & measurementsOnly the federal govt can issue coins and paper moneyThe metric system has been declared the preferred system, but conformance is voluntaryWhy does it make sense for the federal govt to be in charge of these two areas?
  17. 17. 5. Power to control currency & weights & measurementsOnly the federal govt can issue coins and paper moneyThe metric system has been declared the preferred system, but conformance is voluntaryWhy does it make sense for the federal govt to be in charge of these two areas?- Businesses, banking, and trade would be much harder without uniformity in the currency and measurements. Too much to keep track of! And unstable financially.Note: In 1934 Congress decided to go off the gold standard meaning that our paper money is not backed by gold. Its value is based on the supposed trustworthiness of the govt that issues it. Its called fiat money, declared by law to be worth its face value.
  18. 18. 6. Power to punish counterfeitingCounterfeit = ?
  19. 19. 6. Power to punish counterfeitingCounterfeit = to make an imitation or forgery of something, in this case moneyNote: This is one of the few crimes over which Congress has direct authority. Most other crimes are prosecuted by the states.
  20. 20. 7. Power to establish post offices & post-roadsDoes this mean that the post office has to be run by the federal govt?
  21. 21. 7. Power to establish post offices & post-roadsDoes this mean that the post office has to be run by the federal govt?- Not necessarily, but the federal govt does need to make sure that mail will be delivered.Note: The postal road provision provided the basis of the U.S. Highway system and is the legal basis for the creation of the interstate highway system (as is the mandate to defend the nation.)
  22. 22. 8. Power to issue copyrights and patentsCopyright = ?Patent = ?
  23. 23. 8. Power to issue copyrights and patentsCopyright = protects creators of written and other works from having their works copied and/or claimed by others for the lifetime of the creator plus 50 yearsPatent = another form of intellectual property protection that gives to an inventor exclusive rights to the use and profits of his invention for a set period of time.These intellectual property protections (trademarks, too) were a brilliant innovation on the part of the Founders, leading to an explosion of inventions and creativity in America.Of course, the system isnt perfect and doesnt protect inventors in overseas markets, let alone how computers and other technology have made it more difficult to protect peoples creative work.
  24. 24. 9. Power to establish courts other than the Supreme CourtTop court: Supreme CourtNext level: 13 Circuit Courts and the Court of Appeals for the Armed ForcesNext level down: 94 District Courts in the states, Special Jurisdiction Courts (tax, trade, veterans), and Courts of Review for the various military branchesNote: The President appoints the judges to these federal courts, and the Senate gets to approve them (or not.)- More on the judicial system when we get to Article III.
  25. 25. 10. Power to punish piracyPiracy = ?
  26. 26. 10. Power to punish piracyPiracy = robbing ships on the high seasCongress defines these crimes and sets the penalties for them.This affects American shipping, terrorism, hijacking of planes, and drug trafficking.This is another example of a crime that Congress is empowered to oversee and punish.
  27. 27. 11. Power to declare warOnly Congress can officially declare war.Even though the President is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, he is not allowed to declare war.1973 War Powers Act was supposed to check the Presidents ability to engage in military engagements, but since that time every President in office has initiated at least one military intervention, usually limited in scale.Which wars in U.S. History involved official declarations by Congress?
  28. 28. 11. Power to declare war, etc.Only Congress can declare war.Even though the President is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, he is not allowed to declare war.1973 War Powers Act was supposed to check the Presidents ability to engage in military engagements, but since that time every President in office has initiated at least one military intervention, usually limited in scale.Which wars in U.S. History involved official declarations by Congress? War of 1812, Mexican War (1846), Spanish- American War (1898), WWI and WWII. The Iraq War in 2003 fell under “authorization to use military force” and was not an official declaration of war even though it had Congressional approval.
  29. 29. 11. Letters of marque & reprisal, capture of enemies & their goodsLetters of marque & reprisal = were used to allow private ships and others to arm & fight in wartime and to capture enemy goods and peopleThis practice is no longer followed but could be renewed in a time of need.Without such a letter, a ship or person engaged in this activity would actually be guilty of piracy or other crime.
  30. 30. 12 & 13. Power to raise & fund an army and a navyCongress can set up an army and a navy (obviously, they did not know about the need for an Air Force)Congress also makes the rules for the Armed ServicesNote that appropriation (funding) could not last more than two years. Why?
  31. 31. 12 & 13. Power to raise & fund an army and a navyCongress can set up an army and a navy (obviously, they did not know about the need for an Air Force)Congress also makes the rules for the Armed ServicesNote that appropriation (funding) could not last more than two years. Why?- The intent was to avoid having a standing army, but thats what we have today.Why didnt the Founders like the idea of a standing army?
  32. 32. 12 & 13. Power to raise & fund an army and a navyCongress can set up an army and a navy (obviously, they did not know about the need for an Air Force)Congress also makes the rules for the Armed ServicesNote that appropriation (funding) could not last more than two years. Why?- The intent was to avoid having a standing army, but thats what we have today.Why didnt the Founders like the idea of a standing army?- They feared it would disturb domestic peace and/or cause international trouble. The military is trained to fight and therefore motivated to be involved in wars and similar exercises. It must be restrained.
  33. 33. 14. Power to make rules for the armed servicesAre active-duty military personnel under the same laws as the rest of Americans?
  34. 34. 14. Power to make rules for the armed servicesAre active-duty military personnel under the same laws as the rest of Americans?- No! They are bound by military law rather than civilian law. They have their own police (on their bases) and court system.
  35. 35. 15. Power to call state militias into actionWhat do we call the modern militia?
  36. 36. 15. Power to call state militias into actionWhat do we call the modern militia?- the National GuardUnder what conditions is Congress allowed to call out the militia?
  37. 37. 15. Power to call state militias into actionWhat do we call the modern militia?- the National GuardUnder what conditions is Congress allowed to call out the militia?- to carry out federal laws- to suppress rebellions- to turn back foreign invaders
  38. 38. 16. Power to organize, arm & discipline militia; States appointed officers & trained themThe states no longer appoint the officers nor conduct the training but the state governors are officially in charge and can call the National Guard into action in an emergency.Note that the National Guard is under the control of the army and air force so it is subject to their regulations and training procedures and can now be called into duty overseas.Even so the National Guard can act as a check against the regular Armed Forces because it is manned by citizen soldiers who serve part-time and hold civilian jobs and are thus potentially more committed to domestic life.
  39. 39. 17. Power to make laws for the District of Columbia and other federal propertiesDC = area in which the nations capital is located- Congress has direct jurisdiction over this 10 square mile area; it is not part of any state- However, it now has a mayor and council as well as 3 electoral votes for the President and a non-voting member of the HouseWhy hasnt it become a state?
  40. 40. 17. Power to make laws for the District of Columbia and other federal propertiesDC = area in which the nations capital is located- Congress has direct jurisdiction over this 10 square mile area; it is not part of any state- However, it now has a mayor and council as well as 3 electoral votes for the President and a non-voting member of the HouseWhy hasnt it become a state?- The Republicans fight this b/c DC is so Democratic that the GOP dreads 2 more Democratic senators & House Representative
  41. 41. 17. Power over federal landsBesides DC, what other types of properties are also included under this power?
  42. 42. 17. Power over federal landsBesides DC, what other types of properties are also included under this power?- national parks, monuments, military bases & forts, etc.- Territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, and the like
  43. 43. 18. Necessary & Proper Clause or the Elastic ClauseThis gives Congress power to do whatever it needs to do in order to execute the previously listed powers.Why is it called the Elastic Clause?
  44. 44. 18. Necessary & Proper Clause or the Elastic ClauseThis gives Congress power to do whatever it needs to do in order to execute the previously listed powers.Why is it called the Elastic Clause?- b/c it has been stretched many times to allow Congress to expand its power astronomically over the years.McCullogh v. Maryland (U.S. Bank clerk would not pay Maryland tax & won, thus establishing that Congress had power to set up a national bank which was not subject to the states)Good example: creating an Air ForceBad example: federal minimum wage laws, regulation of intrastate commerce: Wickard v. Filburn (wheat farmer)
  45. 45. Elastic Clause cont.What check is there on Congresss power under this clause?
  46. 46. Elastic Clause cont.What check is there on Congresss power under this clause?- the Supreme Courts rulings, but they usually favor an expansion of Congresss powerJames Madison: “... the choice must always be made, if not of the lesser evil, at least of the GREATER, not the PERFECT good; and that in every political institution, a power to advance the public happiness involves a discretion which may be misapplied and abused.”The Founders sought to limit the federal govts power without making the govt impotent. Either extreme interferes with the peoples freedom and/or security. Its a hard balance to achieve.

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