What Legislative Powers Does the President Have?

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The two primary legislative powers of the president include the ability sign bills approved by Congress and pass them into law and to veto them. Even if a president vetoes a bill, however, Congress can still force the bill by securing two-thirds votes in both of the houses.

As the head of the executive branch of government, the president's legislative powers are somewhat limited. This is because Congress is responsible for most of the legislation that takes place. This prevents the president from being able to exercise too much power. The president can, however, issue proclamations and executive orders without the approval of Congress. Proclamations are primarily symbolic in meaning and designate special days, awards or titles. Executive orders carry more weight and are often issued only in extreme circumstances and immediately make the president's wishes concerning a matter enforceable by law. The only way for Congress to reverse an executive order is to either vote to cancel it or to change it. The Supreme Court, however, does have the power to determine that an executive order is unconstitutional. Finally, when signing bills, the president may opt to include a brief statement of interpretation with the bill that advises how the enforcement of the new law should be carried out.