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Appointment Power

The president's power to appoint officers, subject to Congressional approval


setting money aside for a specific programs


Bureaus, administrators, and agencies under the executive branch


Advisory board to the president, made up of the heads of the executive departments


A periodic counting of the population

Chief Diplomat

The president's role of conducting foreign policy

Chief Executive

The president's role where he acts as the boss of the executive agencies

Civil Service

When people are hired for jobs in political positions because of their qualifications instead of political patronage or personal favor.


The president's role of commanding the US Armed forces

Continuing resolution

A bill passed by Congress and agreed to by the president that allows the federal government to continue paying its bills until a new budget is approved.


the total amount the government owes to private investors


The amount by which the government's spending exceeds its income.


A period of drastic decline in the national economy, characterized by decreasing business activity, falling prices, and unemployment.

Discretionary spending

Spending that is optional and is determined on a yearly basis.

Entitlement programs

Programs where the government is legally required to make payments to eligible recipients

Executive agreement

An agreement made between the executive branch of the U.S. government and a foreign government without ratification by the Senate.

Executive branch

The branch of government that includes the president and other executive agencies, and is responsible for enforcing the laws.

Executive order

A declaration issued by the president that has the force of law

Executive privilege

The doctrine that the president has the authority to withold information from other branches of government, including the courts. By extension, executive privilege implies that presidents are not subject to certain legal proceedings.

Fiscal Policy

A government's policy of expenditure and revenue.

Fiscal Year

The twelve-month period designated by the government (October 1-September 30) for budget and accounting purposes

Freedom of Information Act

A 1966 law that requires the federal government to release any identifiable public information in any administrative agency.


The period at the beginning of a president's term during which the president generally has a good relationship with Congress.

Imperial presidency

a president that uses more power than the constitution allows


When a president decides not to spend a sum of money appropriated by Congress.

Independent Agencies

an agency of the United States government that is created by an act of Congress and is independent of the executive agencies


A gradual rise in prices

Interest rate

yearly price charged by a lender to a borrower in order for the borrower to obtain a loan, usually expressed as a percentage of the total amount loaned.

Iron triangle

when agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees develop close ties and work together to implement programs

Issue network

Temporary networks that form as a result of an issue, includes interest groups, congressional committees, and executive agencies

Lame duck

when an elected official continues in office during the period between an election defeat and a successor's assumption of office.

Line item veto

power of the president to veto specific previsions in a bill, Congress has tried to give this power to Congress but the Supreme Court struck it down.

Litmus test

A questioning of a candidate for the judiciary or other offices, to determine if the candidate is qualified

Mandatory spending

Spending that is required by existing law

Monetary policy

The process by which the supply of money in a country is controlled, usually by using interest rates

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

The presidential agency that coordinates agency budgeting requests and advises the President on budget matters


The president's power to set free people accused of crimes


A method of hiring government employees by rewarding faithful party workers and followers with jobs. Also known as the 'spoils' system.

Pocket Veto

The failure of a president to sign and return a bill fewer than ten days before Congress adjourns.

Pork barrel spending

Appropriation of money towards projects that will only benefit a politician's district


A period of general economic decline

Red Tape

A time-consuming procedure required to gain bureaucratic approval

Schedule C Job

A control program that selects from a job queue the next job to be processed.


The positive balance that occurs when revenues exceed expenditures.


A formal agreement between two or more countries. The president has the power to make treaties but the Senate must pass them.


An executive's nullification of a bill passed by a legislature.

War Powers Resolution

A law passed by Congress in 1973 that stated that the President could send troops only with a congressional declaration of war, a law passed by congress allowing him to do so, or a national emergency.

White House staff

Advisers of the president within the Executive Office of the President

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