The Executive Branch of Government
This article contains facts and information about the powers, duties, responsibilities and powers of the Executive Branch and how the Legislative and the Judiciary Branches can check the Executive.
Definition of the Executive Branch of Government
Definition: The Executive Branch of Government is empowered to enforce the law. The Executive branch consists of the president, the vice president and all the people, departments and agencies that report to the president. The Executive Branch is responsible for administering and enforcing the laws that Congress passes.
Members of the Executive Branch
There are over three million people who work in the Executive Branch. The three main areas are the Executive Office of the President (EOP); the cabinet and 15 executive departments.
The Executive Branch - The President
The President is assisted by official advisers he has appointed to head executive departments of government. The chief advisors of the President are collectively known as the Presidential Cabinet. The President and his Vice President are elected by the people every four years and have offices in the White House. The President has many duties. He is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and has the power to declare war, agree treaties, establish the armed forces and regulate foreign trade..
The Executive Branch - The Executive Office of the President (EOP)
The Executive Office of the President (EOP) is comprised of the immediate staff of the President and support staff who include policy experts in various fields. Their duties are to implement presidential policies and programs. The National Security Council (NSC) advises the president on national security and foreign policy matters. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) formulates the budget.
The Executive Branch - Agencies
The Executive Branch is assisted by various independent agencies (organizations) such as the Post Office, the CIA and the Environment Protection Agency. Other agencies include the Commission on Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Peace Corps and the Social Security Administration (SSA)
Powers of the Executive Branch of Government
The Executive Branch of Government has the power to enforce the laws as defined in Article II of the Constitution.
Powers of the Executive Branch of Government - Checks and Balances
The work and duties of the Executive Branch are subject to controls called Checks and Balance by the other two branches of government - the Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch. The Checks and Balances are designed to minimize the risk of corruption, abuse, fraud and waste in the US government. The Checks and Balances that can be exercised by the other branches on the Executive Branch are detailed below.
Powers of the Executive Branch - Checks and Balances by the Legislative
The President must report to Congress by delivering a State of the Union address. Other Checks and Balances that can be exercised by the Legislative on the Executive division are as follows:
The Legislature has the power to refuse to pass a billThe Legislature has the power to overrule presidential vetoes
The Legislative branch has the power to enforce impeachment proceedings to remove the president from officeWhen no candidate or Vice President has a majority of electoral college votes the legislature can choose the winner
Powers of the Executive Branch - Checks and Balances by the Judiciary
The Checks and Balances that can be exercised by the Judiciary on the Executive division are as follows:
The Judiciary has the power to declare executive orders unconstitutionalThe Chief justice is designated as president of the Senate during presidential impeachment trials
The article on the Executive Branch provides a fast overview of the US Government. The following Presidents of the USA video provides a useful educational resource for kids, children and schools.