The president of the United States is head of the Executive Branch and the most well-known official in the federal government. The president functions as the manager of the federal government. He oversees every agency that is a part of the Executive Branch. The chief executive also serves as the commander in chief of the country’s armed forces.
How Presidents Are Elected
Presidents are elected through the electoral college system instead of a direct voting process. Each state carries a specific number of electoral votes based on its population. In most states, the person who wins the most votes gets all electoral votes of that state – but some states split them.
Each president is limited to two four-year terms in office, although this was not always the case. After President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected four times, the 22nd Amendment was ratified, creating the two-term limit.
The President’s Cabinet
Each president appoints the members of his cabinet. These are individuals who head some of the most important agencies of the executive branch. These people must be confirmed by the Senate after the president nominates them.
Collaboration With the Legislative Branch
While a president does not have the authority to create law, they do collaborate with members of Congress to introduce new legislation. Presidents typically have a significant level of influence when it comes to getting Congress to pass or scrap certain bills.
The president’s role in creating law is signing bills passed by Congress – but he can also veto proposed legislation and it won’t become law. However, if each chamber gets a two-thirds majority voting for a bill, they can override the president’s veto and it will become law.
Relationships With Foreign Nations
The president is also responsible for foreign policy. Part of their duties is managing the relationship between the United States and other nations, especially when it involves treaties, agreements, and disputes. The chief executive also appoints ambassadors to other countries as well as the United Nations.
As the commander in chief of the country’s armed forces, he is also tasked with deciding which military operations the nation takes against its enemies overseas. While he has some authority to make these decisions, in some cases, he needs the support of Congress. For example, if the president wishes to go to war with another nation, Congress must approve a declaration of war.
The American President’s Role
When the role of president was originally created, it was intended only to be a simple managerial position. It was not meant to carry the level of power presidents now wield through executive actions and the various Executive Branch agencies. Indeed, the whole federal government was never supposed to have this much impact on the lives of Americans – but as it has grown over the years, so has the presidency.