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Flaws In America's Legislative Branch

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Being the only democratic government with a legislative branch, the United States of America procures numerous criticisms, especially from advocates of a parliamentary procedure. Specifically, issues involving the intention of the founders, the influence of the electoral system, the power of Congressional leaders, the role of political parties, and the impact of the legislative process provide proof to many individuals that Congress in an inefficient, slow moving, and compromise-full governing body.
Originally, the founding fathers did not want one majority to hold all the power in one institution. They knew that a centralized source of power would lead to tyranny, but they also had to deal with the citizens and states. Moreover, the founding fathers had to set up a system that was not oppressive, yet still concerned for the people along with their rights and needs. The forefathers envisioned Congress to be the primary institution, which it became, but loads of problems were occurring within the congressional walls themselves. Issues over 'slavery, the admission of new states, the development of internal improvements, tariffs against foreign goods, the regulation of business' (pg. 286), and the most controversial, the distribution of power in Congress itself. In order to protect the individual, the founders had to allow for decentralized powers that included 'weak leadership, rules allowing for delay and discussion, and many opportunities for committee activity' (pg. 286).
The influence of the electoral system also brings about a conflict within the legislative branch. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Senate was given the nickname 'Millionaire's Club,' due to the rich businessmen and party leaders. It seemed like legislatures were selling seats into the Senate. Finally, the Seventeenth Amendment came about and required the popular election of the Senators. Yet, there is still another problem. There is no term limit in Congress, and an incumbent can continuously run for reelection. To look good, they use their powers to get programs passed and obtain funds, both of which will support their district. Thus, keeping their constituents happy is often the goal of numerous Congressmen. In turn though, they become more apathetic to national issues and are less willing to take risks that could cost them their seat.
Both congressional leaders and political parties hold a great amount of strength within Congress. Without the approval of Congress, legislative requests in the State of the Union are pointless. Without the consent of the Senate, individuals the president appoints to executive agencies and Supreme Court ...

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Keywords: flaws in the legislative branch, flaws in the american constitution, flaws in the us constitution

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