Government Vocabulary Chapter 12: The President

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12th amendment

the amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1804, that specifies the separate election of the president and vice president by the Electoral College - the Constitution had not been explicit in indicating which of the two electoral votes was for president and which was for vice president - it clarified the matter by requiring that the president and vice president be chosen separately.

head of state

the role of the president as ceremonial head of the government - symbolizes "the dignity and majesty" of the American People according to President Taft - with this position, the president decorates war heroes, throws out the first ball to open baseball season, makes personal telephone calls to astronauts, represents the nation at times of national mourning, receives visiting heads of state at the White House, dedicates parks and post offices, and goes on official state visits to other countries - Those are just a few of their duties -gives the president tremendous public exposure, which can be an important asset when campaigning for reelection or dealing with Congress.

chief executive

the role of the president as head of the executive branch of the government - with this role, the president is constitutionally bound to enforce the acts of Congress, the judgments of the federal courts, and treaties signed by the United States - the duty to "faithfully execute" the laws gives great constitutional power to the president - through this role, the president will "nominate, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint....officers of the United States," referring to the cabinet members which represent the federal bureaucracy - from this role, the president has powers of appointment and removal and the power to grant reprieves and pardons.

signing statement

a written declaration that a president may make when signing a bill into law - usually, such statements point out sections of the law that the president deems unconstitutional.

civil service

a collective term for the body of employees working for the government - generally, understood to apply to all those who gain government employment through a merit system - most government employees gain their positions through this rather than through presidential appointment.

appointment power

the authority vested in the president to fill a government office or position- can choose people for positions those in the executive branch and the federal judiciary, commissioned officers in the armed forces, and members of the independent regulatory commissions.

presidential pardon

a release from the punishment for or legal consequences of a crime; can be granted by the president before or after a conviction - in principle, it is granted to remedy a mistake made in a conviction.

commander in chief

the role of the president as supreme commander of the military forces of the United States and of the state National Guard units when they are called into federal service - this basically means that the armed forces are under civilian, rather than military, control - the president is the ultimate decision maker in military matters and only the president has the power to order the use of nuclear force - constitutionally, Congress has the sole power to declare war, but the president can send the armed forces into a country in situations that are certainly the equivalent of war.

war powers resolution

the law passed in 1973 spelling out the conditions under which the president can commit troops without congressional approval - it was passed over President Nixon's veto.

advise and consent

the terms in the Constitution describing the U.S. Senate's power to review and approve treaties and presidential appointments.

chief diplomat

the role of the president in recognizing foreign governments, making treaties, and effecting executive agreements - through this role, the president dominates American foreign policy, a role that has been supported many times by the Supreme Court

executive agreement

an international agreement made by the president, without senatorial ratification, with the head of a foreign state -Presidential power in foreign affairs is enhanced greatly by the use of these - they do not require Senate approval, although the House and Senate may refuse to appropriate the funds necessary to implement them.

chief legislator

the role of the president in influencing the making of laws - the role presents a program and can propose legislation - congress is not required to pass or even introduce any of the administration's bills.

state of the union message

an annual message to Congress in which the president proposes a legislative program - it is addressed not only to Congress but also to the American people and to the world - Its impact on public opinion can determine the way in which Congress responds to the president's agenda - it gives a broad, comprehensive view of what the president wishes the legislature to accomplish during its session.

pocket veto

it is exercised by the chief executive after a legislative body has adjourned - bills not signed by the chief executive die after a specified period of time - if Congress wishes to reconsider such a bill, it must be reintroduced in the following session of Congress

line-item veto

the power of an executive to veto individual lines or items within a piece of legislation without vetoing the entire bill - it would allow the president to veto specific spending provisions of legislation that was passed by Congress.

constitutional power

a power vested in the president by Article II of the Constitution.

statutory power

a power created for the president through laws enacted by Congress

expressed power

a power of the president that is expressly written into the Constitution or into statutory law - both constitutional and statutory powers have been labeled as this, because they are expressly written into the Constitution or into law

inherent power

a power of the president derived from the statements in the Constitution that "the executive Power shall be vested in a President" and that the president should "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed"; defined through practice rather than through law - the most common example is those emergency powers invoked by the president during wartime.

patronage

the practice of rewarding faithful party workers and followers with government employment and contracts - the president can exert political power thorough this and appoint political supporters to government or public jobs

emergency powers

an inherent power exercised by the president during a period of national crisis

executive order

a rule or regulation issued by the president that has the effect of law - they can implement and give administrative effect to provision in the Constitution, to treaties, and to statues

federal register

a publication of the U.S. government that prints executive orders, rules, and regulations - it's a daily publication

executive privilege

the right of executive officials to withhold information from or to refuse to appear before a legislative committee - it relies on the constitutional separation of powers for its basis

impeachment

an action by the House of Representatives to accuse the president, vice president, or other civil officers of the United States of committing "Treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors"

cabinet

an advisory group selected by the president to aid in making decisions - it includes the heads of fifteen executive departments and others named by the president

kitchen cabinet

the informal advisers to the president - often, a president will use it to replace the formal cabinet as a major source of advice

Executive Office of the President (EOP)

an organization established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to assist the president in carrying out major duties - it provides staff assistance for the chief executive and to help coordinate the executive bureaucracy - there are now many agencies that have been created within it to supply the president with advice and staff help.

chief of staff

the person who is named to direct the White House Office and advice the president - this person, who is responsible for coordinating the office, is also one of the president's chief advisers

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

a division of the Executive Office of the President - it assists the president in preparing the annual budget, clearing and coordinating departmental agency budgets, and supervising the administration of the federal budget - it is headed by a director, who must make up the annual federal budget that the president presents to Congress each January for approval - it is a clearinghouse for legislative proposals initiated in the executive agencies

National Security Council

an agency in the Executive Office of the President that advises the president on national security - it is a link between the president's key foreign and military advisers and the president - its members consist of the president, the vice president, an the secretaries of state and defense, plus other informal members

25th amendment

a 1967 amendment to the Constitution that establishes procedures for filling presidential and vice-presidential vacancies and makes provisions for presidential disability - according to this, the president must inform Congress in writing when he or she believes that they are incapable of performing the duties of office.

presidential succession

• Vice President
• Speaker of the House of Representatives
• Senate President Pro Tempore
• Secretary of State
• Secretary of the Treasury

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