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Powers of Congress

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Powers of Congress

Expresses Powers

The five major powers allowed to Congress are:

* To make rules and regulations

* Set and collect taxes

* Borrow money on the credit of the United States

* Regulate commerce with foreign nations

* Establish rules regarding naturalization

Congress also has the power to:

* Declare war

* Coin money

* Establish and support post offices

* Establish and support roads

* Raise and support an army

o Elastic Clause (Necessary and Proper To discipline army militia

* Raise and maintain a navy

* Establish a judicial system (inferior to the supreme court)

* Define and punish piracies and felonies

* Make rules for the government and regulation of land and naval forces

* Promote the progress of science and arts by allowing authors and inventors exclusive rights to their work.


* "The Congress shall have Power to make all 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"

o This means that anything that will help the Congress maintain the enumerated powers is also considered legally constitutional.

Denied Powers

Bill of Rights

Habeas Corpus Clause

* This clause ensures that the government must show probable cause before imprisoning a citizen. Congress cannot suspend the Habeas Corpus law except in cases related to rebellion, invasion, national security or public safety.

Ex post facto laws

* Congress cannot pass any ex post facto laws, or laws that would imprison a citizen for a crime committed prior to passing the law.

Congress cannot pass a bill of attainder, or a bill that would incriminate an individual or group and result in the individual or group losing civil rights for a serious crime.

Congress must make appropriations by law before withdrawing money from the Treasury and make public an account of payables and receivables.



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