Updated date:

American Government Part 2: President

Joshua Hurtado has been driving for Uber Eats since August 2018. Joshua has also graduated with an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studie

Introduction

In the last article I covered the basics of the Legislative branch. In this article I will cover the basics of the Executive branch. I will cover the requirements, basic foreign policy powers, as well as some basic domestic powers, as well as briefly touch on the President's term.

President's Terms

Article II of the United States Constitution established the creation of the Executive branch of the United States government. The Executive branch consists of two publicly elected officer holders and those are the President and the Vice-President. The President and the Vice-President are elected to a four year term.

Something a lot of people may not realize is that the term limit placed on the President has not always been there. President George Washington started a tradition of serving no more than two terms which was observed by every President up to Franklin D. Roosevelt. FRD ran for and was elected to an unprecedented four terms. It was not until 1951 that Congress passed the 22nd amendment which limits the President to serving no more than two terms.

While there may have been an increase in awareness of the Electoral College, there may still be a lot of people who do not realize that the President is not elected by popular vote. This process is unique to the election of the President and the Vice-President as there are no other federal officials who elected through the Electoral College process. If you are interested in learning more about how the Electoral College works I have a link to another article I wrote on it called "Understanding The Electoral College" under the Blogs section.

Requirements

The requirements for being eligible for the Presidency are different than any other requirement for federal office. For someone to be eligible they have to be a natural born citizen of the United States, be thirty five years of age, and have been a resident of the United States for the past fifteen years.

Domestic Powers

The President also plays a crucial role in regards to the enactment of laws. For a bill passed by both houses of Congress to be enacted into law the President must sign the bill. Generally, if the President refuses to sign the bill, it is through some kind of veto process. There are some exceptions where the bill still becomes law, but that is a more detailed process than I will go into in this article.

The President also has the sole authority to nominate both federal judges and Supreme Court Justices. Once the President has nominated either a judge or a justice they then enter into the confirmation process. The confirmation process takes place in the Senate and after they have been approved by a simple majority, they are able to take their place in their new position.

Foreign Policy

Presidents have considerably more room to operate in the realm of foreign policy than they do in the domestic realm. The President is the Command in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and outranks any member of the military. The President can also initiate treaties and other agreements with foreign nations. However, it is important to note that for an agreement to be more or less set in stone it needs to be a treaty, and for a treaty to be binding on the United States it must pass with two thirds of the Senators that are present supporting it.

The President does not have the authority to declare war on any nation or group. That power belongs to Congress. However, Congress gave the President some more leeway in this area with the War Powers Act. Under this act the President is essentially authorized to engage the military against a foreign power or group without consenting Congress for up to 60 days before having to obtain consent from Congress. This is a fiercely debated issue though.

That is going to conclude today's article. If you learned something new leave a comment down below. I will see you next time!

Sources

U.S. Constitution: https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/article-2/

FDR: https://www.fdrlibrary.org/fdr-presidency

Presidential Term Limits: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendment/amendment-xxii

Blogs

  • American Government Part 1: Congress
    Have you ever had the news on and wondered how our government works? Well, you are not alone. In this series I aim to provide a basic understanding of how the American governmental system works.
  • Understanding The Electoral College
    In this article, I hope to shed some light on the mysteriousness of the Electoral College. We will discuss why it is used today and how it works.

Related Articles