How much influence does the president have over the legislative process?
Although it is the responsibility of Congress to introduce and pass legislation, it is the president's duty to either approve those bills or reject them. Once the president signs a bill into law, it goes immediately into effect unless there is another effective date noted. Only the Supreme Court may remove the law, by declaring it unconstitutional.
The president may also issue a signing statement at the time he signs a bill. The presidential signing statement may simply explain the purpose of the bill, instruct the responsible executive branch agencies on how the law should be administered or express the president's opinion of the law's constitutionality. The president may also veto a specific bill, which Congress can override with a two-thirds majority of the number of members present in both the Senate and the House when the override vote is taken. Whichever chamber of Congress originated the bill may also rewrite the legislation after the veto and send it back to the president for approval. The president has a third option, which is to do nothing. In this case, two things can happen. If Congress is in session at any point within a period of 10 business days after the president receives the bill, it automatically becomes law. If Congress does not convene within 10 days, the bill dies and Congress cannot override it. This is known as a pocket veto.
There are two ways that presidents can enact initiatives without congressional approval. Presidents may issue a proclamation, often ceremonial in nature, such as naming a day in honour of someone or something that has contributed to American society. A president may also issue an executive order, which has the full effect of law and is directed to federal agencies that are charged with carrying out the order. Examples include Franklin D. Roosevelt's executive order for the internment of Japanese-Americans after the attack on Pearl...