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Executive Branch - Jacobson

What does the Executive branch consist of?
Mainly, this means the President, but it also includes the Vice President and the Cabinet (meaning, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, etc.)
What is the Executive branch's main job?
Literally, to execute (execute in this case means to uphold, carry out, enforce) the laws.
How is the President elected?
By getting 270 votes in the Electoral College. In this system, people vote state by state to send representatives from their state to elect the President. Note: Not by getting a majority of the popular vote for the whole country.
What is the President's role regarding the military?
He/she is Commander in Chief of the military. This means he/she has full control over the military. But, the President can't declare war and can't determine the budget for the military. The Congress has those powers.
What does the President swear to do when taking office?
The president promises to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution.
What are the four main powers the President has?
Commander in chief, veto power, foreign policy, and appointments.
What is a treaty?
An agreement made between two countries, for trade, peace, cooperation, whatever. The president has the power to make treaties, though they must be approved by the Senate.
What is an appointment, in this context?
To put someone in a political position, such as an ambassador or federal judge. The President nominates people for these jobs, and then the Senate has to approve them.
How long is a President's term? How many terms can the president serve?
A term is four years. Two terms is the maximum.
What powers does the Executive branch have over the Legislative? and what powers does the Legislative branch have over the Executive?
The President can veto bills the legislative makes. The President also has some flexibility in how the interpret the laws.The legislative branch can override these vetoes, can impeach the President, has to approve the President's appointments, and has the right to declare War.
What powers does the Executive branch have over the Judicial? and what powers does the Judicial branch have over the Executive?
The President nominates the judges on the Supreme Court and other federal courts. The Judicial branch can rule Executive actions unconstitutional and counteract them in this case.
What is the President's role in the process of passing a bill to become a law?
If the bill has a simple majority in the Congress (50%+1), then the President's signature determines if the bill becomes a law or not (if not, its called a veto). If the bill has a two-thirds+1 majority in Congress, then the President's signature doesn't matter (thats called an override).
what is an "oath of office"?
This is the promise that the President makes when he/she takes office.
What are the two powers of the Vice President?
1) Take over for the President, if needed; 2) Preside over the Senate and break a tie if necessary.
What are the qualifications needed to be President?
1) You must be at least 35 years old; 2) You must be a natural citizen (not an immigrant who becomes a citizen); 3) You have to have resided in the US for 14 years.
What is the Electoral College?
The system that elects the President. There are 538 Electors. Votes in each state for the President are actually votes for determining who the actual electors should vote for. The system means that the person with the most votes by the people doesn't always get to be President (such as in 2000).
What is the Cabinet?
A group of 15 department officials, called Secretaries, appointed by the President to aid in running the country. Examples of departments are the State Department, The Department of Defense and the department of Transportation.
What are the responsibilities and powers of the Cabinet?
The Cabinet advises the President on issues and are in charge of the day-to-day operations of the departments.
What does it mean to say the President's powers are "constrained"?
We often think of the President as having a great deal of power, and that he/she is responsible for everything that happens, but actually, the President's powers are actually fewer than we think. The Congress is actually responsible for thinking of and passing laws, and there are also powers that the courts have over the President.
What is the Department of State and what do they do?
In charge of international relations, foreign aid, embassies and passports
What is the Department of Defense and what do they do?
In charge of the military, so the Army, Navy and Air Force, plus some other defense related to protecting
What is the Department of Education and what do they do?
In charge of America's policy for schools, financial aid for tuition and other things related to learning.
What is the Department of Agriculture and what do they do?
In charge of America's food policy, food safety and other things related to farming, fishing and ranching.
What is the Department of Transportation and what do they do?
In charge of America's highways, city train systems, harbors, airports and airline safety.
What are is the Department of Homeland Security and what do they do?
In charge of preventing terrorism, guarding the borders and responding to natural disasters.
What are is the Department of Justice and what do they do?
In charge of making sure federal laws are followed. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), for example, is part of this department.
What is the Line of Succession?
This is the order of people who will become President if something happens to the President. You should know that the Vice-President is first in this list. In case you are curious, #2 is Speaker of the House, #3 is the Senator with the most years of service in the Senate and #4 is Secretary of State.