Passed in 1951, the amendment that limits presidents to two terms of office.
The political equivalent of an indictment in criminal law, prescribed by the Constitution. The House of Representatives may impeach the president by a majority vote for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
The events and scandal surrounding a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 and the subsequent cover-up of White House involvement, leading to the eventual resignation of President Nixon under the threat of impeachment.
Passed in 1951, the amendment that permits the vice president to become acting president if both the vice president and the president's cabinet determine the president is disabled. The amendment also outlines how a recuperated president can reclaim the job.
A group of presidential advisers not mentioned in the Constitution, although every president has had one. Today the cabinet is composed of 13 secretaries and the attorney general.
National Security Council
An office created in 1947 to coordinate the president's foreign and military policy advisers. Its formal members are the president, vice president, secretary of state, and secretary of defense, and it is managed by the president's national security advisor.
Council of Economic Advisors
A three-member body appointed by the president to advise the president on economic policy.
Office of Management and Budget
An office that grew out of the Bureau of the Budget, created in 1921, consisting of a handful of political appointees and hundreds of skilled professionals. This office performs both managerial and budgetary functions, and although the president is its boss, the director and staff have considerable independence in the budgetary process.
The constitutional power of the president to send a bill back to Congress with reasons for rejecting it. A two-thirds vote in each house can override this.
A veto taking place when Congress adjourns within 10 days of having submitted a bill to the president, who simply lets it die by neither signing nor vetoing it.
The situation occurring when voters cast their ballots for congressional candidates of the president's party because they support the president. Recent studies show that few races are won this way.
War Powers Resolution
A law, passed in 1973 in reaction to American fighting in Vietnam and Cambodia, requiring presidents to consult with Congress whenever possible prior to using military forces and to withdraw forces after 60 days unless Congress declares war or grants an extension. Presidents view this resolution as unconstitutional.
The ability of Congress to override a presidential decision. Although the War Powers Resolution asserts this authority, there is reason to believe that, if challenged, the Supreme Court would find the legislative veto in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.
A sudden, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous event requiring the president to play the role of crisis manager.