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Expressed Powers

powers directly stated in the constitution

Delegated Powers

powers given to the president by Congress

Inherent Powers

presidential powers implied but not explicitly stated in the Constitution

War Powers Resolution

A law passed in 1973 spelling out the conditions under which the president can commit troops without congressional approval.

Executive Agreement

A formal agreement between the U.S. president and the leaders of other nations that does not require Senate approval.

Executive Privilege

The power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security.


the power or right to prohibit or reject a proposed or intended act (especially the power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature)

Pocket Veto

a bill fails to become law because the president did not sign it within ten days before Congress adjourns

Line item veto

Presidential power to strike, or remove, specific items from a spending bill without vetoing the entire package; declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Legislative Initiative

the president's inherent power to bring a legislative agenda before Congress

Executive Orders

a rule issued by the president that has the force of law


the heads of departments of the executive branch appointed by the president and conffirmed by the Senate

National Security Council

a committee in the executive branch of government that advises the president on foreign and military and national security

White House Staff

analysts and advisers to the president, often given the title "special assistant."

Kitchen Cabinet

an informal group of advisers to whom the president turns for counsel and guidance. Members of the official Cabinet may or may not also be members of this.

Executive Office of the President

The cluster of presidential staff agencies that help the president carry out his responsibilities. Currently the office includes the Office of Management and Budget, the Council of Economic Advisers, and several other units.


A claim by a victorious candidate that the electorate has given him or her special authority to carry out campaign promises made during the campaign.

Permanent Campaign

description of presidential politics in which all presidential actions are taken with reelection in mind

Chief of Staff

The person who directs the operations of the White House Office and who advises the president on important matters.


The heads of the departments that form the President's cabinet.

Going Public

The presidential strategy of using the media to appeal directly to the public to support presidential initiatives.

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