The Vice President, the Executive Office of the President, and the Cabinet are also members of the executive branch. The President is regarded as the leader of the United States government, serving as both the head of state and the Commander-in-Chief of the United States armed forces. The President makes policies by issuing orders to federal agencies and officials, who carry them out. The President can remove officers from office, but not ordinary citizens.
In addition to the President, there are other important positions in the executive branch. These include:
The Secretary of State runs the Department of State. They manage relations with other countries, including acting as the United States' ambassador to foreign nations.
The Secretary of Defense manages the Department of Defense. This includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
The Attorney General is a member of the Justice Department who leads the department's litigation efforts.
The Director of the FBI is the chief law enforcement officer (LEO) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The director is appointed by the President and serves at his or her own discretion. However, under federal law the director must be an American citizen who has been an active duty military service member at least seven years prior to taking office. The current director is Christopher Wray.
The President of the United States is the Executive Branch's leader. The President wields complete authority in this branch of government, and all members report to him.
The President is the head of state as well as the head of government. He or she is responsible for executing laws and policies. Additionally, the President can grant pardons and reprieves (i.e., act to clear people who have been convicted of crimes).
The President is elected by popular vote every 4 years. If the President dies in office or is removed from office, then the Secretary of State will issue a proclamation declaring that the President has died or has been removed from office. The Speaker of the House of Representatives becomes acting President until a new President is elected. The Vice President assumes the presidency.
In order to be President, one must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years old, and have been a resident of the United States for 14 years.
The Constitution provides that the President be chosen by direct vote of the people.
The President, the Vice President, the Cabinet, the federal executive departments (whose secretaries comprise the Cabinet), and the Executive Office of the President comprise the executive branch. The Cabinet is made up of the leaders of the federal executive departments. Although not part of the Cabinet, other officers who are neither department nor agency heads are called "administrative" or "non-Cabinet" officials. These include: attorneys who serve as advisers to the president; judges; managers who oversee large groups of employees; public defenders; military commanders; directors who run large organizations; and others.
In addition to these offices, there are several other groups that play a role in administering government policy. First, there are independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. These agencies are not part of the Department of Justice or any other cabinet-level department but they do have Secretaries who lead them. Second, many boards and commissions are formed by statute to advise the president on policy issues before him or her. For example, the National Transportation Safety Board was created by Congress to provide advice on transportation safety issues. Finally, many committees are formed by congress to study topics related to the operation of the legislative branch. Examples include the House Committee on Education and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
These are just some of the many offices that make up the executive branch.
Our government's executive branch is in charge of ensuring that the laws of the United States are followed. The executive branch is led by the President of the United States. The Vice President, department heads (referred to as "cabinet members"), and leaders of autonomous agencies assist the President.
In addition to their administrative duties, some officers have been given specific powers and responsibilities. For example, the Speaker of the House has the power to make rules for the House; the President pro tempore has the duty to preside over the Senate. Other officers include guardians of treaties and the chief law enforcement officer of the federal government. The Secretary of State manages foreign affairs, while the Secretary of Defense handles national defense.
The Constitution divides authority between the legislative branch (Congress) and the executive branch (the President). It provides that Congress may remove officials from office but that the President can be removed only by impeachment.
An act of Congress can create a new position with executive powers. For example, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was created by Congress to ensure safe banking practices. However, each director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation must be approved by the President. This means that only people that the President approves of can be on the board. Otherwise, if a member were to resign or be removed from the board, there would have to be another vote by the President to fill the position.
The president, vice president, and cabinet members comprise the executive branch. It is they who execute the laws and manage government operations. The president can remove officials by firing them or forcing them to resign. The VP can also be fired or removed from office.
Who are these people? What do we know about them?
President Donald Trump was elected on November 8, 2016. He is the first presidential candidate to be elected twice since George Washington became president in 1789. The president must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years old, and have been a resident of the country for 14 years.
Trump won the election in part by appealing to voters' fears about immigration and crime. He promised to "drain the swamp" in D.C. by getting rid of political insiders who were not doing their jobs. And he urged voters to "think big" when it came to making change happen.
Before becoming president, Trump had no experience working in government or politics. His only role before becoming president was that of chairman and chief executive officer of Trump Organization Inc., a company that has built hotels and casinos around the world.
The president leads the executive branch, whose constitutional tasks include serving as commander in chief of the armed forces, negotiating treaties, appointing federal judges (including Supreme Court members), diplomats, and cabinet officials, and acting as head of state. Some other important offices that may not be apparent from their names include office of the vice president/office of the vice president-elect, secretary of state, attorney general, director of the FBI, administrator of NASA, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and commissioner of baseball.
The president is elected by popular vote every four years. If the president dies in office or is removed from office, then the vice president takes over at once. The Senate confirms all presidential nominees - including those to vice president's office - by majority vote.
In addition to these duties, officers of the executive branch have a number of specific responsibilities to individuals or groups through their power over administrative issues or official actions. For example, an agency head can reject requests for rulings on administrative law issues, refuse to issue or enforce regulations, direct staff members not to perform certain duties, etc.
Finally, officers of the executive branch make policies by interpreting laws and advising the president on how best to execute the government's duties. For example, the attorney general gives advice about whether to prosecute cases or issues guidelines for prosecutors.