Article II of the United States Constitution provides the President with the power to faithfully execute the laws of the United States. Through the years the executive branch has grown into a complicated assortment of federal departments and agencies employing almost three million civilian personnel. For most federal employees their work consist in implementing the policies and programs developed by Congress—from making sure that the meat we eat is safe to providing for the movement of mail across the country and abroad.
The organization of the executive branch has remained relatively stable through the years with the creation of Cabinet level departments following large-scale national events like the attacks of September 11, 2011, and the creation of various agencies and commissions intended to serve some new or reinvented government purpose. President Obama’s recent decision to elevate the Small Business Administration to a Cabinet level Department is a case in point. The lingering and problematic economic downturn affecting the U.S. economy has put tremendous pressure on the President and Congress to act. In this case the President is using his executive powers to reorganize the federal bureaucracy (see Hayley Peterson’s response and others in the Washington Examiner for more information). What do you think, is the President acting in accordance with his Article II powers? Should the President have more authority over how executive branch employees do their jobs, or should Congress ultimately set the limits to this authority?