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THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. The Office of the President of the United States. CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS. The president must be: 1) 35 years old 2) 14 year resident of the United States 3) Native Born Term in office: 4 years, 2 terms (10 year max)- 22 nd amendment.

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  1. THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH The Office of the President of the United States

  2. CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS • The president must be: • 1) 35 years old • 2) 14 year resident of the United States • 3) Native Born • Term in office: • 4 years, 2 terms (10 year max)- 22nd amendment

  3. Fear of the Founding Fathers • They were very afraid of another King. They gave the president very vague and limited powers. • The intention was to ensure that the legislative branch was the most powerful branch. • They created the electoral college to ensure that the small states would matter, but also to ensure that we (the people) would not choose an IDIOT!!! (No Bush jokes please) • Washington set the precedent of two terms. The 22nd amendment was passed to limit the president to 2 terms.

  4. ELECTORAL COLLEGE • Winner-take-all system- The winner of each state receives all of the electoral votes of that state. • Each state has electoral votes based on representation in Congress. Changes every ten years. • Today- 538 electoral votes – 270 WINS!!! (Majority) • If no winner, the House chooses the president and the VP is chosen by the Senate. • Founders didn’t anticipate the two-party system, but our system lends itself to two parties.

  5. Formal Powers of the President • Commander-in-Chief • Treaty negotiator • Nominates federal judges, cabinet • State of the Union • Veto power • Pardon Felons • Executes laws (signs laws) • Draw up the Budget

  6. Informal Powers of the President • Legislative leader • Party leader • Personnel Recruiter • Leader of the free world • Morale Builder • Bully Pulpit • Executive Privilege/Executive Order

  7. Congress and the President • The executive branch enforces (carries out) laws passed by Congress. • Most of the time, he works in conjunction with the Congress. However, there are times when he can circumvent Congress. • For instance, Congress declares war (according to the Constitution), but the president can make (wage) war by committing troops to area for a specific amount of time without congressional approval.

  8. Congress and the President • All presidential appointments must be approved by a majority vote in the Senate. • This includes cabinet members, heads of various agencies, all federal judges, U.S. marshals and foreign ambassadors. • Congress must also pass the President’s budget. • They can override his veto with a 2/3 vote in both chambers of Congress. • Congress must authorize any funds for the war.

  9. Foreign Policy • Congress generally defers to the President in the area of foreign policy. • 1) The President has more information and people at his disposal including: Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Nat’l Security Advisor, etc. • 2) Congress readily takes a back seat allowing the president to receive the glory, or usually the ridicule that comes with a long invasion (i.e. Vietnam, Iraq).

  10. Foreign Policy • The President negotiates treaties that must be approved by 2/3 of the Senate. • He can also enter into executive agreements with heads of other countries. This holds the same weight as a treaty without needing Senate approval. • He is responsible for keeping us safe from domestic insurrection, as well as foreign invasion. • He is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and can deploy the national guard when necessary.

  11. Waging War • The President has the ability to commit troops without congressional approval thanks to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, passed in 1964. • It is of historical significance because it gave U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of military force in Southeast Asia. • This Resolution was eventually rescinded, replaced by the War Powers Act of 1973.

  12. War Powers Resolution • Seeking to assert limits on presidential authority to engage U.S. forces without a formal declaration of war, Congress passed in 1973, over Nixon's veto, the War Powers Resolution, which is still in effect. It describes certain requirements for the President to consult with Congress in regard to decisions that engage U.S. forces in hostilities or imminent hostilities.

  13. War Powers Act • The War Powers Act of 1973 is a United States federal law providing that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or if the United States is already under attack or serious threat. The War Powers Act requires that the president notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.

  14. War Powers • Under the United States Constitution, war powers are divided. Congress has the power to declare war, raise and support the armed forces, and control the war funding (Article I, Section 8), while the President is commander-in-chief (Article II, Section 2). It is generally agreed that the commander-in-chief role gives the President power to repel attacks against the United States and makes him responsible for leading the armed forces.

  15. War Powers • The War Powers Resolution has been controversial since it became law, and every President since its passage has treated it as unconstitutional. The War Powers Resolution has been violated a number of times with little attention by media outlets. • Because it limits the President's alleged authority in the use of force without an official resolution or declaration of war by Congress, there is controversy as to whether the provisions of the resolution are consistent with the Constitution. The reports to Congress required of the President have been drafted to state that they are "consistent with" the War Powers Resolution rather than "pursuant to" so as to take into account the Presidential position that the Resolution is unconstitutional.

  16. Economic Policy • The President’s job is to fight inflation, keep taxes low, promote economic growth, prevent recession, and create jobs. • He utilizes the Secretary of the Treasury, the Council of Economic Advisors, and the Chairperson of the Federal Reserve Board to attack economic issues. • He works with the OMB to write the budget.

  17. The Office of the President • White House Staff- the president’s closest advisors. They do not have to be confirmed. Include Chief of staff, domestic advisors, security advisors, chef. • Executive Office of the President- • 1) Agencies that report directly to the president. • 2) Heads must approved by the Senate. • Office of Management & Budget is the most powerful agency in the Executive Office of the President.

  18. OMB • Created in 1921 by the Budget Accounting Act. Set up to aid the president in drawing up the annual budget. • Decides which agencies will get money each year. • Budgeting is the way the President controls the bureaucracy. He decides which agencies will get the most money. • Currently, entitlement programs receive the most money from the budget.

  19. Cabinet • The Heads of the Executive Agencies. There are 15 executive departments currently. • The 1st three were State, War (now defense), and treasury. The last added was Homeland Security (only one created by an executive order). • All Heads are appointed by the president and approved by the Senate (majority vote). • They are not mentioned in the Constitution. • Direct liaison between the president and the department they represent. (sometimes they “go native”) • President can fire them without cause.

  20. Independent Agencies • A collection of agencies that regulate segments of the economy. • Examples include the Federal Reserve Board (FED), Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). • The heads are appointed by the president, approved by the Senate. Cannot be fired by the president. They are independent once they are approved.

  21. Vice President • Usually chosen by the President to balance the ticket…get more votes in the general election. • Vice President is the president of the Senate. He casts the tie-breaking vote when needed. • Recent VP’s have have been given more power by the President. • 25th Amendment- VP becomes the President if he dies or becomes disabled.

  22. Power to Persuade • Popularity= power (Honeymoon period after election) • Bully pulpit- The president’s ability to use the media to introduce legislation, put pressure on Congress, and sway public opinion. • Presidential coattails are greater in presidential election years. Midterm years traditionally see the president’s party lose seats in the House and the Senate. • The economy drives presidential popularity numbers. War gives him quick boost in numbers as well.

  23. Presidential Success in getting agenda passed • coalition building: party and cross party lines—“finessing” the Congress—meeting with committee chairs, subcommittees, majority and minority leaders, etc. • “bully pulpit”—use the Oval Office to rally the country around the leader!! • interest group support: money and influence • National campaigns: show part loyalty—buddy speeches. Show personal loyalty to those who endorsed YOU • Press conferences—explain it to the media and get THEM on your side • Inaugural address—sets tone and agenda for 4 years • State of the Union: sets tone and policy agenda for the YEAR

  24. Failure of Presidential Policy Budget: Congress passes a program but then won’t fund it—so it doesn’t exist Opposition party—Republicans vs.. Democrats Public mood: by the end of a term, he may have LOST popular support Lack of support from powerful interest groups.

  25. The Power to say NO • If the President does not agree with an act of Congress, he can veto a bill. (Andrew Jackson- most vetoes) • Less than 5% of vetoes are overridden by a 2/3 vote in both chambers of Congress. • Pocket veto- hold a bill for 10 days in the hopes that Congress will adjourn. If they remain in session, a bill becomes a law without his signature. • Line-item veto- power held by some governors. President used it once and it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (Clinton vs.. New York)

  26. Executive Privilege • Confidential communication between between the president and his advisors does not have to be disclosed. • This was justified because the president needs to be able to get candid advice, and the separation of powers implies that no one needs to know. • United States vs.. Nixon- Supreme Court ruled that the president does not have absolute unqualified executive privilege.

  27. Executive Orders • An executive order in the United States is a directive issued by the President, the head of the executive branch of the federal government. • U.S. Presidents have issued executive orders since 1789. Although there is no Constitutional provision or statute that explicitly permits executive orders, there is a vague grant of "executive power" given in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution and the statement "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" in Article II, Section 3. Most executive orders are orders issued by the President to US executive officers to help direct their operation, the result of failing to comply being removal from office.

  28. Legislative Veto • In 1983, the Congress tried to veto an executive order. • The case (INS vs. Chadha) went to the Supreme Court. The court ruled that only the president is given the power to veto in Article II of the Constitution. • The legislative veto was ruled unconstitutional.

  29. Emergency Powers • confiscate property – horses, metal, firearms, etc • set wages and prices—control inflation in war time conditions • declare martial law—Congress must give consent to suspend to writ of Habeas Corpus—the right to “due process of law” –not being held without a hearing… • control transportation and communication—security reasons • rationing strategic materials—metal, grease, milk, cotton • 1. Japanese detention camps • 2. Illegal FBI bugging and opening mail without a Court ordered warrant—violates the 4th amendment (Hoover) • Secret wars in Laos and Cambodia

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