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Chapter 9: The Executive Branch

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1 Chapter 9: The Executive Branch
Social Science

2 The Office of the President
The President is the head of the executive branch, or the branch of government responsible for executing, or carrying out, the laws The most important duty for a president, however, is to set goals and develop policies for the nation The President’s term in office is four years, and they are allowed to run for a second term, but they can not serve more than two terms Because of the system of checks and balances, the President’s powers are limited He can not make laws His decisions must be approved by Congress If he does wrong, he can be removed from office To be President, you must be at least 35 years old, a natural citizen, and must have lived in the United States for 14 years

3 Chief Executive The President’s main job is to make sure that the laws that Congress votes on are carried out As the leader of the country, the President only makes the broadest decision, and leaves the minor decisions to other officials One way the President can give orders is through an executive order, which are rules and regulations that the government must follow Must be approved by Congress and not violate the Constitution The President also has the power to appoint top officials Must be approved by Congress also

4 Commander in Chief The President is also the leader of the armed forces Military leaders and specialists try to discourage the President from getting into daily operations, but when the nation is at war, the president makes the important decisions, such as setting military goals and approving operations The President has the power to send troops to a foreign country, but can not keep them there for more that 60 days unless Congress approves Making military decisions effects not only the lives of the American people, but also the lives of people from other nations, so this part of the job carries a heavy burden

5 Chief Diplomat The President is also the chief representative of the United States in relations with other nations Makes foreign policy, or a set of plans for guiding our nation’s relationship with other countries Congress helps the President in this role by making treaties with other countries and by approving presidential appointments of ambassadors, or official representatives to foreign countries The President does have the power to make executive agreements, or agreements with other countries that do not need Senate approval

6 Legislative Leader Even though Congress makes the laws, the President holds great power in trying to influence Congress what laws to pass, and Congress must think of what the President will think of a particular law before making it During the State of the Union address, the President discusses not only foreign policy, but also domestic policy, or a set of plans for dealing with national problems The President has many ideas when influencing Congress to make or discontinue a law Get members of Congress to write bills Holding meetings with members and interest groups to gain support Veto a bill

7 Judicial Powers The President also has the power to create a budget, which must be approved by Congress The President has the power to appoint judges, but they must be approved by Congress first The President can also put off or reduce the punishment of someone who has been convicted of a federal crime May even do away with the punishment all together through a pardon, or release of punishment

8 Roles Created by Tradition
The President has two additional roles not stated in the Constitution, but have been created over the years The President belongs to a political party, and since he is the highest elected official, he is seen as the leader of that party Supports party goals and candidates in elections The President is also the chief of state, which gives him many tasks Speaking to the nation on values and setting goals Carrying out of many ceremonial duties Stands for a national unity despite disagreements from different political parties

9 The Executive Office of the President
The executive branch has become a huge bureaucracy, or an organization of government departments, agencies, and offices To help the President make decisions, he appoints an administration, or a team of executive branch officials Made up of 2,000 members The Executive office is largely made up to help the President make decisions in foreign and domestic policy

10 Breakdown of the office
At the center of the office is the Presidents staff, who give the President advice and information about national issues Made up of a chief of staff, key advisors, press secretaries, legal experts, speechwriters, office workers, and researchers Some advisors come to the president on a daily basis, while others report to the chief of staff The Vice-President plays an active role only if the President asks him to do so May make up special commissions, visit foreign countries, work with Congress, and take over for the President if he dies or becomes seriously ill The President also has special advisory groups that help the President make decisions on foreign and domestic policies Two important ones are the Office of Management and Budget (decides how much goals will cost) and the National Security Council (concerned with foreign affairs and national defense

11 The Executive Departments
There are 15 executive departments whose main job is carrying out the nation’s laws and running government programs Department of State (carries out foreign policy) Department of the Treasury (collects taxes and prints money) Department of Defense (maintains the armed forces) Department of the Interior (manages federal lands) Department of Agriculture (provides assistance for food issues) Department of Justice (assists in federal issues, runs the FBI) Department of Commerce (assists in American business issues) Department of Labor (assists the employed and unemployed) Department of Health and Human Resources (runs health programs) Department of Education (assists in education issues) Department of Housing & Urban Development (assists in housing issues) Department of Transportation (maintains transportation safety) Department of Energy (conducts research on energy and conservation of energy) Department of Veteran’s Affairs (helps out military veterans Department of Homeland Security (provides security for the country) The heads of each department, along with the Attorney General (the nation’s lawyer) makes up the Cabinet, or an important group of policy advisors to the President

12 Independent Agencies There are three types of independent agencies that conduct many tasks for the President Executive Agencies: under direct order of the President, who can choose and remove its directors National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Regulatory Commissions: twelve exist to carry out rules for certain business or economic activity Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Government Corporations: try to make a profit for the government through public programs The United States Postal Service All government jobs are given through a Civil Service System, and those who perform high on tests in relation to an open position are given the job

13 Presidential Freedoms
The President does have some freedoms that do not have to approved by Congress Can meet with heads of foreign countries, which can lead to executive agreements or treaties, or formal agreements between nations Has executive privilege, or the right to keep some information secret from Congress and the courts The need for the President to be independent from all the other branches relies on his ability to act in times of crisis, but a need for balance of power must also exist in order to keep the President from making rash decisions Make an activity regarding pages : have students read the three examples, explain them, and discuss how the presidents have used their powers at certain times

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