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The Executive Branch


The Executive Branch Everything you ve always wanted to know but were afraid to ask! All of the living U.S. Presidents together in the Oval Office. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Executive Branch

The Executive Branch
  • Everything youve always wanted to knowbut were
    afraid to ask!

All of the living U.S. Presidents together in the
Oval Office.
The Constitution
  • The Executive Branch is described in Article II
    of the Constitution.
  • Article II begins with the words, The executive
    power shall be vested in a President of the
    United States of America.
  • The President and the Vice President are the only
    two executive officials described in the
    Constitution but the executive branch consists
    of several million employees today.

Choosing a President
Q. What qualifications does a person have to meet
in order to run for President?
  • Be a natural born citizen of the United States
  • Be at least 35 years old
  • Be a U.S. resident for 14 years prior to running
    for office

Choosing a President
Q. Who actually elects the President?
Answer Electors from each state who vote in
December (the first Monday after the second
Wednesday in December), collectively known as
The Electoral College.
Choosing a President
Q. How many electoral votes does each state
Answer Electoral votes are determined by the
number of representatives in Congress from that
state (members of House plus Senators (always 2)
Georgia in 2012 14 Reps in House 2 Senators
16 electoral votes). Washington, D.C. gets 3
electoral votes.
Choosing a President
Electoral Votes Given to Each State (2008)
Choosing a President
Electoral Votes Given to Each State (2012)
Choosing a President
Q. How many electoral votes does a candidate need
to win?
Answer 270 electoral votes (which represents the
bare minimum majority out of the 538 votes up for
grabs). The winner of the popular vote in a
state wins ALL of the electoral votes for that
state (winner-take-all system). The only
exceptionsMaine and Nebraska.
Nebraska in the 2008 Election
In the 2008 Presidential election, John McCain
won about 57 of the popular votes cast in
Nebraska. However, Barack Obama won a majority
of the votes in the 2nd Congressional district
around Omaha.
Choosing a President
Q. What happens if no single candidate receives
at least 270 electoral votes (the minimum
Answer If no candidate receives a majority of
electoral votes, the House of Representatives
elects the President from the 3 Presidential
candidates who received the most electoral votes.
Each State delegation has one vote. (The Senate
would elect the Vice President.) This has
happened twicein 1800 and 1824.
Choosing a President
Q. So does the popular vote even matter?
Answer YES. Even though 4 Presidents have been
elected despite LOSING the national popular vote,
it is not accurate to say the popular vote is
meaningless. So where does popular vote really
Choosing a President
Which system do you think is best?
Q. What are some alternative proposals to the
current system?
  • Answers
  • Direct popular election the winner of the
    national popular vote is elected President
    (unlikely to happen)
  • Electoral votes won or lost within Congressional
    districts 2 at-large votes
  • Proportional electoral vote (based on popular
    vote in each state)

Presidential Powers and Duties
What is the Presidents MAIN job?
To ENFORCE and CARRY OUT the laws.
Presidential Powers and Duties
  • Commander-in-Chief head of the armed forces
  • Appointment power (judges, ambassadors, and
    numerous executive officials)
  • Can negotiate treaties or sign executive

Presidential Powers and Duties
  • Power to pardon criminals or potential criminals
  • Power to veto bills passed by Congress
  • Can convene Congress (call Congress into session)
  • Can propose laws, including the federal budget

As President, Bill Clinton signed an
international treaty to ban the use of child
soldiers in combat (under 18). It was
unanimously agreed to by the U.S. Senate.
Grover Cleveland vetoed 414 bills in his two
terms (second highest behind FDR with 635). Only
two of Clevelands vetoes were overridden.
Gerald Ford angered many Americans by granting a
full pardon to Richard Nixon on September 8, 1974
(one month after Nixon resigned in shame because
of the Watergate scandal).
Roles Played by the President
  • Head of state ceremonial leader of the U.S.

President Bush lays a wreath at the Tomb of the
Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
(No Transcript)
Roles Played by the President
  • Chief Executive head of the executive branch
    executes or carries out the laws.

Roles Played by the President
  • Chief Legislator proposes bills and spending
    plans (budget) to Congress can
  • sign or veto
  • bills, as well.

President Reagan in March of 1985 after vetoing a
farm bill.
Clip from The West Wing (NBC/Bravo) President
Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen) sits down for a
budget discussion with Congressional leaders.
Roles Played by the President
  • Chief Economic Planner expected to guide the
    nations economic strategy and help when
  • there are
  • economic
  • problems such
  • as inflation or
  • unemployment.

President Obama proposed a stimulus package of
nearly 800 billion to Congress in hopes of
creating jobs and boosting the economy.
Roles Played by the President
  • Party Leader the President
  • is the recognized leader
  • of his political party.
  • He is often used as
  • a major fundraiser
  • and campaigner.

President Obama shakes hands with former Virginia
Gov. Tom Caine at a DNC fundraiser in March of
Roles Played by the President
  • Chief Diplomat the President
  • directs U.S. foreign
  • policy. His duties
  • include meeting with
  • foreign leaders,
  • negotiating treaties
  • and executive
  • agreements, etc.

President Bush in a meeting with Russian
President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office in
Nov. of 2001 as a strange man looks on.
President Bush put his dancing shoes on after
meeting with Liberian President Ellen
Johnson-Sirleaf. This came at the end of an
African tour to promotes U.S. ties in the region.
Roles Played by the President
  • Commander-in-Chief the President
  • is the head of the
  • U.S. armed forces.
  • While technically
  • only Congress,
  • can declare war,
  • the President has
  • significant war-making
  • power.

President Bush declares an end to major combat
operations in Iraq in May of 2003 as he speaks
aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln anchored off the
coast of San Diego.
FDR addresses Congress asking for a declaration
of war against Japan from Pearl Harbor (2001)
Other Executive Branch Leaders
  • The Vice-President is really only given three
    official responsibilities under the Constitution
  • Serve as President of the
    Senate (presiding officer)
  • Help decide the question of Presidential
    disability (when and if the President is unable
    to perform his duties).
  • Take over for the President when a vacancy occurs
    (death, resignation, etc.)

The executive branch consists of several million
employees, but who are some of the important
leaders besides the President?
Quotes on the Vice Presidency
  • The Vice-Presidency is sort of like the last
    cookie on the plate. Everybody insists he won't
    take it, but somebody always does.
  • Bill Vaughan
  •      Columnist and author

Quotes on the Vice Presidency
  • Once there were two brothers. One ran away to
    sea the other was elected vice president of the
    United States. And nothing was heard of either of
    them again"
  • Thomas Marshall
  • Vice President under Woodrow Wilson

The 25th Amendment
  • The 25th Amendment establishes Vice-Presidential
    Succession on account of death, resignation, or
    cases of disability
  • President nominates new candidate
  • Nominee confirmed by majority of both houses
  • Nixon selected Senator Gerald Ford as the Vice-
  • President Ford selected Nelson Rockefeller as his

Other Executive Branch Leaders
The cabinet is a group of formal advisors to the
President that includes people like the VP, the
head of the 15 major executive departments
(State, Treasury, Defense, etc.), and other
leaders of the Presidents choosing (head of the
EPA, Chief of Staff, etc.)
Other Executive Branch Leaders
Because they head up some of the more important
agencies, the Secretaries of State, Defense, and
Treasury along with the Attorney General (head of
the Justice Department) are sometimes referred to
as the inner cabinet since they are more likely
to work closely with the President on a regular
Other Executive Branch Leaders
So who are these people? Can you name any of the
current members of President Obamas Cabinet?
Other Executive Branch Leaders
Secretary of State John Kerry
Other Executive Branch Leaders
Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew
Other Executive Branch Leaders
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
Other Executive Branch Leaders
Attorney General Eric Holder
Other Executive Branch Leaders
The Department of Homeland Security has become
one of the more important cabinet departments
since its creation in 2002. Its job is to try to
protect America against potential terrorist
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson
Executive Office of the President
  • Consists of agencies and individuals who directly
    assist the President in completion of his duties
  • Examples
  • a) OMB Office of Management and Budget
  • b) National Security Council
  • c) Council of Economic Advisors
  • d) the White House Office (Personal Staff)

The End!