Expressed Powers are guaranteed to the United States Congress by the Constitution. These Enumerated Powers provide Congress with the ability to execute specific government functions. These governmental duties are contained in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. It serves to prevent Congress from overstepping governmental boundaries. The U.S. Constitution includes the Tenth Amendment, which describes these powers as Clauses. Within each clause, there are implied powers that are given to Congress. These implied powers give Congress the power to influence several sectors of society. There are 18 powers granted to Congress.
Right To Tax
The most important avenues for social security come through taxes. This section guarantees Congress the ability to set tariffs. This right allows the government to generate income that can be channelled towards social services such as the salaries of governing employees. The U.S. Congress also funds the post office, Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, and other aid programs for its citizens.
The right to tax is also essential for regulating commerce. Without government spending, the economy can slip into a recession. During an economic downturn, Congress can introduce tariffs to encourage people to spend money.
Right To Debt/Borrow Money
Politicians in Congress can decide how much the United States borrows. The U.S. congress approves any debt taken up by the U.S. government. This debt is referred to as the national deficit. The right to borrow money was officially introduced in 1917. Before this, every single transaction which accumulated debt needed became a legislative nightmare. This right creates a debt ceiling that the government cannot surpass. The U.S. Congress must increase the debt ceiling for any further debt to be accumulated.
Right To Set Naturalization Standards
To become a U.S. citizen, you must meet specific standards or precedents. The U.S. Congress is responsible for setting these standards. A naturalized resident of the United States becomes one as citizenship is a right. To become a citizen, Congress established that you need to be born on U.S. soil, on a U.S. military base, or American territory. Meeting these standards will automatically make you a citizen.
If a person wishes to become a naturalized citizen but was not born in America, they will have to meet the minimum residency requirement of about five years.
Right To Create and Maintain a Military
The U.S. Congress is required to approve and maintain the country’s federal military. Congress approves the procurement of troops, training and war.
The United States Military Trial
The Constitution guarantees the federal government right to develop military forces. This section of the Constitution explicitly covers any soldiers that commit crimes. In this instance, Congress can permit a military trial instead of a public jury trial.
Lastly, the right covers the process required for the U.S. to go to war. Both the U.S. President and Congress can declare war in the Constitution.
Right To Coin Money
Congress creates money. This branch of legislation allows Congress to control the Federal Reserve. This government arm is responsible for deciding how much legal tender should circulate. This monetary policy is essential and can prevent potential leaks of counterfeit money. This outlaws any money that the government does not produce.
Right To Establish a Post Office
The U.S. postal office is a Federal arm of government. Congress has the sole mandate to authorize the development to create state Post Office locations and designate postal routes. These facilities are critical to the country’s ability to disseminate information. Mail is typically delivered and funded by Congress. The express powers here grant the ability to decide what is and is not considered mailable. These powers help to prevent the abuse of the mailing system.
Right To Regulate Commerce
Ideally, economies perform well when the government allows free-flowing commerce; however, Congress can influence the economy through this power. Congress can regulate commerce between states, other countries, and indigenous tribes. The capabilities guaranteed here allow for three separate clauses—the Foreign Commerce Clause, the Interstate Commerce Clause, and the Indian Commerce Clause.
Right To Grant Patents and Copyrights
Intellectual property or products need to be protected for business to thrive. Consumers must petition the government for a patent or copyright when developing something novel. These issues are prescribed by Congress, meaning they can determine the length of patent and copyright protection. The express powers granted allow them to extend or shorten patents. A trademark company differs if someone wishes to trademark something, but it falls under the copyright clause.
Right To Pass & Execute Laws
The U.S. Congress has the power to craft new laws and enforce them on the citizens.
The Express powers granted to Congress allow them to enact laws not explicitly within its capabilities.
The Second Amendment covers gun control; however, the U.S. Congress has the right to legislate commerce. Consumers buy guns which means they can fall under commerce legislation.
In 1861, the U.S. Congress was granted the express power to determine income tax. It is common to find some states do not charge income tax. Congress mandates some states to pay this, with others paying a federal income tax.
The Military Draft
Congress has the express power to form the military, meaning in war times, they can request a mandatory military draft. During such an event as the Vietnam War, men from 18 to 25 were drafted to go to war.