Nonlegislative Powers

Hanna, Jasmin, Jacob, Nikki, and Carmie

Non-legislative Powers

Non-legislative powers are those that Congress uses to check the other branches of government. These powers and responsibilities not directly related to the process of making new laws.

What are some non-legislative powers?

  • Constitutional Amendments: Congress plays a key role in amending the Constitution. Historically, Congress has always been the body to propose amendments to get the process started.
  • Electoral Duties: The House of Representatives may have to choose a President if no candidate receives a majority of votes in an election. They may also have to choose the Vice President. Also, the Senate has to approve a nomination for Vice President if there is an opening for that position.
  • Impeachment: The legislative branch can remove any civil officer from office for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors." The House has the sole power to impeach, which means to bring charges against someone. Meanwhile, the Senate has the sole power to judge, or serve as a court in impeachment cases. The Senate decides whether and or not someone will be removed from office.
  • Executive Powers: Congress must approve appointments made by the President, such as cabinet members, Supreme Courts justices, and other Federal officers. Also, the Senate must approve treaties that the President makes with other countries and may make changes to treaties.
  • Investigatory Power: Congress has the power to investigate any matter that falls within the scope of its legislative powers.

Vocabulary

  • impeach: to accuse government officials of misconduct in office.