Executive Branch The executive branch of US government is composed of the President, his advisors and all federal agencies and their heads. The executive was created by article II of the Constitution.
Main roles and powers Chief Executive • Enforce the laws passed by Congress • Issue executive orders, enforcing the law • Act as the head of the federal bureaucracy and all federal agencies • Nominate judges (including those to the Supreme Court, requiring Senate confirmation) • Appoint government officials (some requiring Senate confirmation, some not)
How is the President elected? The Electoral College • In order to protect the interests of the elite, land owning class, the framers of the Constitution added the electoral college as a safeguard against the majority opinion. As a result, electors could elect a presidential candidate without considering the popular vote and elections could be won without a majority in the popular vote.
• All elections are controlled by the States. The electors are chosen by state legislators… (just like the Senate… remember they don’t trust us. ) • The candidate must get a majority of electoral
Chief Diplomat • Act as representative of the United States to foreign governments • Make treaties with foreign nations (require 2/3 vote in Senate for approval) • Extend or rescind diplomatic recognition of foreign nations
Chief Legislator • • Propose a federal budget Recommend proposed laws to Congress Veto legislation Approve legislation passed by Congress
Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces • Supreme commander of all branches of US military • Authorize use of US military for up to 60 days (without approval of Congress or declaration of war) War Powers Act limits the President
Chief of State • Serve as ceremonial head of US Government
Special powers & Responsibilities Judicial Power of the President: • Grant pardon (forgiving an individual of his/her crime(s)) • Grant amnesty (forgiving a group of people of a specific class of crime)
Requirements and terms of service: • Terms: President serves a maximum of 2 terms of 4 years (**note: the original Constitution allowed of unlimited terms of service, this was revised by the 22 nd amendment in 1951) • Requirements: President (or Vice-President) must over 35, a natural born citizen and a 14 year resident of the United States
– The Election Process— 2 nd Tuesday in November every 4 years – Nominating Candidates for President and Vice P. – Primaries (February to June), – Nominating Conventions (July and August) The Fall Campaign—ads, TV, Debates.
– The Electoral College—people vote for electors (each state has two sets) winner takes all, 270 votes to win. • If no Majority—House of Rep. Chooses from top 3 candidates. • Unusual Elections— 1824, 1876, 2000.
People (US population of registered voters) vote for a President on election day (Nov 4 th) The Candidate who wins the plurality (highest number) of a states, popular vote (cast by the people) wins all the electoral votes. A states’ electors make up its electoral college. The electors cast ballots for Pres. And VP about 1 month after the Nov. election. Almost, always electors cast their ballots for the candidate favored by the plurality of Voters. If there are more than 2 major candidates and no one wins more than 50% (majority) of electoral ballots, the election is decided in the House of Representatives
1. Rules of Succession 1. Act of Presidential Succession— 1947 after President, VP, Speaker of the House, Head of the Senate, and then Cabinet. 1. Twenty-second Amendment—only 2 elected terms (maximum 10 years). 1. Twenty-fifth Amendment—disability law.
• Removing a President By Impeachment— House impeaches (to accuse) the President, but the Senate has a trial and 2/3 vote is necessary to remove the President. • Only two presidents Impeached were Andrew Johnson, and William Clinton