The Presidency of the United States AP Government

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United States Government I

The Presidencyof the United States

AP Government

1Guiding Questions

What is the job of the president of the United States?

What are the president's roles and responsibilities?

How do the president and the public communicate with each other?

The President can declare war if America's national security is threatened. (False. Only Congress can declare war.)

2) The President has the right to withhold certain information from Congress if he thinks it would endanger America. (True, Executive Privilege)

3) The power of the vice-presidency has been increasing since the early 1990s (true).

4) The president is one of the highest paid members of American society. (False. he makes a mere $400,000) 5) No president has ever been elected to more than two terms (False. FDR gained four terms).The PresidencyThe President, the President's Cabinet and the Vice President make the executive branch of American government.5The Roles of the President1. Chief of State The President is the ceremonial head of the U.S. Government.2. Chief Executive The Constitution gives to the President the Executive Power of the United States.3. Chief Administrator The President is the director of the federal government and its approximate 2.7 million employees and budget of $3.7 trillion.4. Chief Diplomat The President is the primary architect of American foreign policy.6The Roles of the President5. Commander in Chief The President is the leader of the United States armed forces.6. Chief Legislator - The President is the chief architect of the domestic policy of the United States.7. Chief of Party The President is the acknowledged leader of his political party.8. Chief Citizen The President is expected to be the representative of all the people of the United States.7The President must perform all of these jobs at the same time. Failure in any one or combinations can lead to big political problems.

How would you rate the President in these various roles?

8Formal Qualifications1. Must be a natural born American citizen.

2. Must be at least 35 years of age.

3. Must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years.

Prior to 1951 the President was not limited in the number of terms they could serve. The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution limits the President of the United States to no more than 2 four-year terms in office. The maximum number of years that a person could serve as President is 10.If a President comes into office after the midpoint of another Presidents term, they would be allowed to serve two full terms of their own.If a President comes into office before the midpoint of another Presidents term, they would be limited to one full term of their own.Many of the modern Presidents have pushed for a repeal of the 22nd Amendment because of the disadvantage it places on the Presidents in their second term.Pay & BenefitsCurrently the President is paid $400,000 per year and is given a $50,000 per year expense account (that is considered to be taxable income). The President may not receive any other pay from any other source while in office.The President is also allowed to live in a 132 room mansion on 18.3 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C., a large suite of offices and a staff to man them, a fleet of automobiles, airplanes (Air Force One), helicopters (Marine One), Camp David (a retreat in the mountains of Maryland) and many other benefits.Presidential Succession & DisabilityPresidential succession is the plan by which the Presidency is filled in case of a vacancy. If the President dies, resigns or is impeached, the Vice President succeeds to the office (Tradition + the 25th Amendment).Congress fixes the order of succession after the V.P. By terms of the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the V.P. is followed by the Speaker of the House, the President pro tem of the Senate, the Secretary of State and then the other heads of the Cabinet departments in the order in they were created by Congress.Presidential Succession & DisabilityThe 25th Amendment also takes care of the problem of Presidential disability. The V.P. becomes Acting President if:1. The President informs Congress in writing that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.2. The V.P. and a majority of the members of the Cabinet inform Congress in writing that the President is incapacitated.In either case the President may resume the powers duties of office by informing Congress that no disability exists. However, if the V.P. and a majority of the Cabinet challenge the President on that, Congress has 21 days to decide.The Vice PresidencyThe V.P. has two Constitutional duties:1. To preside over the Senate.2. To help determine Presidential disability.Traditionally the V.P. has been chosen to balance the ticket. The power that is given to the V.P. greatly depends on what the President is willing to have him do. If the Vice Presidency becomes vacant the position is filled by Presidential appointment. Remember that all appointments by the President must be approved by the Senate.Electing the PresidentThe President of the United States is elected the Electoral College. In the Electoral College each state has the same number of votes as it has members of Congress. What is the minimum number of votes that a state can have? Very few of the framers of the Constitution were in favor of electing a President through a popular vote.In order to be elected President a person must receive a majority of the votes in the Electoral College (538 total = 270). Electing the PresidentIf nobody receives a majority, the President is selected by the House from the top 3 vote getters. The framers believed that most every President would be elected in this way.The rise of the political parties would make the original intentions of the framers obsolete because the two-party system would automatically get the choices down to two candidates.There have been several changes made to correct flaws in the Electoral College beginning with the ratification of the 12th Amendment after the election of 1800.The Party Nominating ProcedureThe political parties originally had national conventions where delegates from each state would vote from among the candidates to choose the partys nominee.Today the parties use a system of primary elections and caucuses to choose their candidates.The field of candidates from each party is gradually narrowed down by the various state primaries. The winner of the primary election in each state receives a number of delegates that will vote for them at the national convention. Usually the partys nomination is decided before the convention even starts.The Party Nominating ProcedurePrimaries come in one of two forms:

1.Closed Primaries - Only members of the party may vote in this type of primary.

2. Open Primary - This type of primary is open to voters no matter what party they belong to.

The Party Nominating ProcedureStates that do not hold primaries use a caucus (a meeting of like-minded people) to choose delegates for the various candidates. A caucus, like a closed primary, is open only to party members. Instead of going to a polling place and casting a vote in a primary election, the party members meet at a caucus and cast their votes for the candidate of their choice.The National ConventionOnce all the primaries and caucuses have been held, each party holds a national convention. The party that does not have the president will have its convention first. It is at the convention that the party will officially:1 - Choose their candidate for president. 2 - Develop their platform that all of the partys candidates for office are expected to follow in their campaigns. 21The November ElectionFrom the end of the conventions in August to election day, on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November the candidates will campaign continually.Voters will go to the polls and cast ballots. The candidate who receives the most votes in a state will receive all of the electoral votes from that state. How many electoral votes does each state have?22The November ElectionThe states electoral votes are cast by electors who are chosen at large (as a whole) and by the political parties in each state. All the electors in every state will meet at the state capitols on a date set by Congress to cast their votes. The ballots will then be sent to Washington, D.C., where they will be counted before a joint session of Congress on January 6 as long as that is not a Sunday.23Flaws of the Electoral College 1. The winner of the popular vote may not win in the electoral college vote (1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000).2. Nothing requires the electors to vote for the candidate favored by the popular vote in their state.3. There is always the possibility that the election could be decided by the House of Representatives.Proposed Reforms to the Electoral College1. The District Plan2. The Proportional Plan3. Direct Popular Election4. The National Bonus Plan

It is doubtful that there will be a change in the electoral college because of the power that it gives to the smaller states.The Presidency in ActionIt is the job of the president to execute (enforce) the laws of the United States.Most presidents have viewed the power of the office in one of two ways:1. They are the captain of a ship and set a course to follow.2. It is the job of Congress to run the country and they only have powers that are specifically given to them by the Constitution.The Presidency in ActionMost of the modern presidents have exercised great power while in office. This has come about for several reasons:There is only one president and there are 2 houses in Congress.Americans look to the president for leadership in a number of areas.The need for quick and decisive answers in times of emergency.Congress has given the president more power because it makes their job easier.All of the modern presidents have made great use of the mass media that Congressmen do not have easy access to.Executive PowersExecuting the Law The president and his administration exercise a great amount of say in what laws are going to be enforced and how strongly they are to be enforced.The Ordinance Power Presidents have the power to issue executive orders, which have the effect of law.The Appointment Power The president names most of the top ranking officers in the federal government.The Removal Power Generally speaking, if the president gives you your job, he can remove you from that job.Diplomatic and Military PowersThe Power to Make Treaties The president has the power to make treaties with the heads of foreign countries. The Senate must approve the treaty with a 2/3 vote before the president can ratify it.Executive Agreements This is an agreement between the president and the leader of a foreign power that is like a treaty, but does not require the consent of the Senate.The Power of Recognition This is the power of the president, representing the U.S., to recognize the legal existence of country.Diplomatic and Military PowersCommander in Chief The president is the commander in chief of the nations military.The president has the power to use armed forces abroad without a formal declaration of war by Congress.The president has far greater powers during times of declared war than otherwise. * The War Powers Resolution:1. Within 48 hours of committing American forces to combat abroad, the President must report to Congress, detailing the circumstances and scope of his actions.2. Combat commitment must end within 60 days, unless Congress agrees to a longer period. That 60-day deadline may be extended for up to 30 days to allow for the safe with drawl of the American forces.3. Congress may end the combat commitment at anytime by passing a concurrent resolution to that effect.Diplomatic and Military PowersThe constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution has yet to be decided by the courts.In passing the law, Congress specifically cites the Necessary and Proper Clause for its authority. Under the Necessary and Proper Clause, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. War Powers Joint Resolution, 2(b).Legislative PowersRecommending Legislation The president may not introduce a bill in Congress, but he can recommend legislation that he believes should be enacted.

Veto Power The president has the power to veto an act passed by Congress. Remember, this is of 4 things that a President may do when presented with a bill by Congress.Do you remember the other 3 options?

The Veto power is an example of what basic principle of American democracy?Judicial PowersReprieve The postponement of the execution of a sentence.

Pardon A legal forgiveness of a crime.

Commutation The power to commute (reduce) the length of a sentence or a fine imposed by a court.

Amnesty A blanket pardon offered to a group of law violators.The Executive Office of the PresidentThe executive office is made of the President, vice President and their staffs.

The Presidents Cabinet is an informal body of advisors who regularly meet with the President and vice President.

The cabinet today is made of the heads of the 14 executive departments, and their job is to run their department and advise the President.

The Executive DepartmentsState (1789)Treasury (1789)Defense (War - 1789)Justice (1870)Interior (1849)Agriculture (1889)Commerce (1903)Labor (1913)Health & Human Services (1953)Housing & Urban Development (HUD- 1965)Transportation (1967)Energy (1977)Education (1979)Veterans Affairs (1988)The Office of Homeland Security is an agency that has cabinet level powers, but is not an official part of the Presidents cabinet.The Executive OfficesEvery office, every employee and every agency in the executive branch of the federal Government is legally subordinate to the President.

Their job is to help the President in the exercise of the executive powers.The most important of the executive office is the Executive Office of the President (the EOP - established in 1939).

It is a complex organization of several separate agencies staffed by most of the Presidents closest advisors and assistants.The nerve center of the Executive Office is the White House Office.

This office occupies the West Wing of the White House and is headed by the Presidents chief of staff.The chief of staff is arguably one of the most powerful people in Washington, D.C., because he often has total control of who has access to the President.Another major office in the executive offices is the National Security Council.

The NSC is very important in the formation of American foreign policy and is chaired by the President.Other members of the NSC...


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