As Genovese observes, the former presidents “exercised legitimate emergency powers in the midst of crises”. The act that the President can lead the Congress emanates from the constitutional powers the President has. The available tools of leadership are derived from the constitution itself. For instance, the President is the Chief Legislature and as such, he has the power to either sign or veto the bills passed by the Congress.
By so doing, he provides proxy leadership of this powerful and independent institution. Besides, in the event that the Congress is not in session and the President feels that the House should reconvene to handle an emergency, the constitution grants him the power to convene a Congress session. Moreover, the President still remains at the center the law-making process owing to the fact that he has to provide an annual state of the union message.
Another powerful tool that the President can use to lead the Congress is the constitutional position of the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. As a President, he is the leader of all the US military forces and consequently can declare war or peace regardless of Congress approval. However, the President may later seek endorsement by Congress especially on matters related to budgetary allocation to support military operations abroad.
Negotiation of treaties is also the sole discretion of the President. It is part of management since “management and administration are critical to modern presidency”. Matters dealing with foreign affairs lie squarely on the shoulder of the President. Hence, the leadership available here for the President is to suggest legislation to the Congress and as a party leader, the President can lobby for the passage of the bill in Congress. This is a very powerful tool which the President can employ in offering leadership to the Congress.
In addition, the immediate administrative body called the cabinet is a very viable tool for leading the Congress either directly or indirectly. The bureaucratic process is paramount and the President ensures that it runs smoothly with minimal hitches. The bureaucracy can only run efficiently with the help of cabinet office appointed by the President.