The non-legislative powers exercised solely by the Senate are mainly those put forth in the Constitution to ensure a system of checks and balances in the Federal government, including impeachment of the president, discipline of its own members, ratification of treaties and presidential appointments. Other powers, such as declaring war, are shared by both houses of Congress.Know More
According to the Constitution, in the impeachment of a federal official, each branch of Congress has different functions. The House of Representatives serves as prosecutor and impeaches the official, and the Senate conducts the impeachment trial. Though the president appoints people to official posts, the Senate confirms the appointments. These include members of the cabinet, judges of the Supreme Court, other federal judges, ambassadors and heads of federal agencies. The Senate ratifies treaties negotiated by the executive branch by a two-thirds vote and also can amend treaties. In the event of malfeasance in the executive branch, the Senate has the power to conduct investigations.
In the discipline of its own membership, one recourse the Senate has is expulsion, which can be accomplished by a two-thirds vote, according to the Senate website. Another disciplinary action is censure, which is a formal statement of disapproval or condemnation. In censure, a senator is not required to leave office. These actions have rarely been taken. As of June 2014, only 15 senators have been expelled, and nine have been censured.Learn more about Branches of Government
The express powers of the vice president of the United States are to be the presiding officer of the Senate, to act as a ceremonial assistant, to cast the swaying vote if there is a tie in the Senate and to be prepared to take over presidential duties should the president be unable to serve, according to the U.S. Senate page. The vice president is considered to be the second-most important official in the government though the position has often been misunderstood by many.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
The president pro tempore is the senatorial official who serves as president of the Senate when the vice president is absent. President pro tempore means "president for a time."Full Answer >
The President of the United States, per Article II of the Constitution, acts as commander-in-chief of the armed forces during times of war. However, Congress must have officially declared a state of war before the president can assume direct command. The modern world has muddied the waters regarding what the president can do.Full Answer >