Implied Powers Of Congress Essay

1144 words - 5 pages

The United States Congress is the legislative branch of our government made up by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Our Congress, just as all branches of our government, derives its power from the US Constitution, specifically Article 1 section 8 which outlines the specific enumerated powers of Congress. This Article also outlines the implied powers of Congress. These implied powers include all things which are deemed necessary in order for Congress to carry out the jobs assigned to it by their enumerated powers.

There are several powers expressly given to Congress in Article 1 of the constitution. These expressed powers are basically a laundry list of Congressional duties. These include, but are not limited to, the power to lay and collect taxes, the power to borrow money on behalf of the United States credit, the power to coin money and regulate it's value, the power to declare war, the power to raise and support armies, the power to establish post offices and postal roads and the power to regulate commerce between the states, as well as with the Indian tribes and with foreign nations. These powers were given at this level of government by our forefather because they are important items that must be regulated at the national level. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if each state was able to coin it's own money and set the value themselves. While Congress may be responsible for things of great importance to our security and national economy “no one of the powers transferred to the federal government is unnecessary or improper”(Federalist No.45) and“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” (Federalist No.45). This helps to ensure that Congress' power is kept minimal but can be used impact-fully. The exception to the limitations placed on Congress by it's enumerated powers can be seen in clause 3 of article 1 section 8, The necessary and proper clause.

The necessary and proper clause is Congress' ability “to make laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” (U.S. Const., art 1, sec 8 cl 3). This clause was put in to give Congress the flexibility it needed to carry out its more defined obligations, since the framers could not foresee what difficulties could arise that might prevent them from fulfilling the duties that fall under their scope of responsibility. For this reason, this clause is sometimes also referred to as the “elastic clause”. A perfect example of the need for this clause can be seen in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819). In 1816 Congress established a national bank to try and help control the unregulated currency issued by state banks. The state of Maryland did not think that this was constitutionally acceptable and issued a tax on all banks not chartered by the state. James W....

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