The first power of the president is that to veto or sign bills put
through by congress. This power is given in the constitution [
http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html ] and its text is
as quoted: "Every Bill which shall have passed the House of
Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be
presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he
shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to
that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the
Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it."
The president has final control over the military, as shown in the
constitution "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army
and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several
States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he
may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each
of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties
of their respective Offices"
The third power he has says "he shall have Power to grant Reprieves
and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of
The fourth power given in the constitution is as follows: "He shall
have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make
Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur"
The fifth power in the constitution "and by and with the Advice and
Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public
Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other
Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein
otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law:"
One check of power for the president is that he/she can be removed or
impeached. From the us constitution "The President, Vice President and
all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office
on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high
Crimes and Misdemeanors."
The next check on presidential power is that the president's veto is
not absolute. From the us constitution "Every Bill which shall have
passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it
become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If
he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his
Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall
enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to
reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House
shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the
Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be
reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall
become a Law." Therefore, he may veto a bill, which is a power, but a
check on that power is that the congress may override the veto.
The third limit on presidential power is that of the 2 term limit
shown in the 22nd ammendment to the constitution [
http://www.law.emory.edu/FEDERAL/usconst/amend.html ] "No person shall
be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no
person who has held the office of President, or acted as President,
for more than two years of a term to which some other person was
elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more
A fourth limit on presidential power according to a page on
presidential powers [
http://www.ericjonas.com/features/apgov/12%20The%20Presidency.asp ] is
that a president must sign a bill within 10 days, or it automatically
passes. Thus, a president cannot hold up a bill indefinitely.
A sixth power of the president however, is that if the congress is
going to convene within 10 days of a bill being passed, and the
president does not sign the bill within that time, it is counted as a
pocket veto, and the bill does not pass.
A fifth limit on presidential power is that the treaty making process
used by the president is also shared with the congress, and the
president does not have the only power in this matter.
A sixth limit on presidential power is that the memebers of his
cabinet must be approved by the senate.
Several powers of the president that do not derive from the
constitution are lumped under the category of presidential privelege.
From history news network article on presidential privelege, the
following 2 powers of the president are shown
Power of the president 7: The president doesn't have to inform the
congress of information it might use to form policy contrary to what
the president wants. From history news network [
http://hnn.us/articles/470.html ] "Although the Constitution speaks
repeatedly about which branch possesses which specific powers, it's
virtually silent on the question of what information the executive
branch must disclose to Congress (apart from requiring the president
to report annually on the state of the union). The vagueness became a
recipe for conflict."
Power of the president 8: Furthermore, executive privelege has been
used to keep information from congress on affairs relating to the
prosecution of criminals or organizations. One example shown from
history news network quoted as follows ". When his administration
declined to give the Senate papers relating to the prosecution of U.S.
Steel, the Senate vowed to jail a leading official. Undeterred,
Roosevelt transferred the disputed papers to the White House where he
would be responsible. "The only way the Senate or the committee can
get those papers now is through my impeachment," he taunted."
Power of the president 9: As shown in this article on presidential
powers [ http://www.npca.org/magazine/2001_issues/july_august/forum.asp
], the president has the power to declare an area a national monument,
which gives it protections from development. This power stems from the
Antiquities Act and not the constitution.
Power of the president 10: One power of the president stems from his
ability to communicate with the public and is termed the "bully
pulpit" [ http://www.usnewsclassroom.com/resources/activities/act010903.html
]. "Coined by Teddy Roosevelt, the bully pulpit is a reference to the
White House as a platform for the president to sell his political
agenda to the public. John F. Kennedy successfully used the bully
pulpit to inspire the public to support his agenda for the space
program and civil rights. Ronald Reagan used the bully pulpit to gain
support for his supply-side economics policy."
Sources / links
US constitution: [ http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html
Amendments to the constitution [
Information on presidential power [
History news network what is presidential privelege [
Presidential powers [
The first 5 presidential powers I listed come from the constitution.
The last 5 do not. I hope this fully answers your question.