The informal powers of the president are those, which are not defined in the U.S. Constitution. However, they can be applied in specific or unique situations, which require the president’s intervention or attention. Further, the informal powers support president’s executive orders to enforce some initiatives without approval from other branches or political constituents.


The formal and informal powers of the president determine the president’s capabilities and influence within the political system in the U.S.

Here is the list of 4 major informal powers of the president:

  1. the ability to enact a legislative agenda;
  2. executive orders;
  3. sending out troops without a declaration of war;
  4. conducting foreign policy initiatives.

The significant difference between these two powers of the U.S. president is that formal is defined in Constitution, and informal powers are used in specific situations. Unlike the formal powers, the informal powers are considered more critical due to the president’s right to manage the situation or event without Congress approval. However, informal powers are not applied regularly, as they might undertake conflict with Congress regarding sensitive issues or questions.

The president’s informal powers are vital mostly in questions regarding foreign policies and affairs. Using these powers, the president can initiate international events and arrangements. Moreover, informal powers allow the president to offer proposals, sign agreements, and represent interests of the U.S. on different political levels.

Nonetheless, the abuse of the president’s informal powers seems unlike behavior and tendency in the U.S. political and public affairs. Under the informal powers, the U.S. president can hide some information, force prohibitions, and intervene in legal processes. While Congress or Supreme Courts limit such intervention, as the application of the informal powers may cause severe damages and consequences for internal and external state affairs.