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What Is the Executive Branch and What Does It Do?

The executive branch implements and enforces federal law.

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The U.S. federal government is split into three branches. Along with the legislative branch, the executive branch helps create laws. But the executive branch is also responsible for implementing and enforcing those laws. The executive branch is led by the president of the United States.

What Is The Executive Branch?

The executive branch includes 15 different departments. Each of the departments is led by secretaries, all of whom are members of the president’s cabinet. The executive branch also includes several agencies that enforce laws, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is also in charge of various commissions, like the Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and others.

The president is responsible for running the executive branch, signing legislation into law, and issuing executive orders to implement programs and policies. The president also appoints federal judges, including justices serving on the Supreme Court. They also have the power to pardon people convicted of federal crimes.

History of the Executive Branch

The executive branch was created at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which also established the legislative and judicial branches. The founding fathers created each branch to ensure a balance of power in the federal government. It separated the different functions of government and created a system of checks and balances to ensure that none of the branches became too powerful.

The executive branch plays an important role in American society. It is one of the reasons the person serving as U.S. president is seen as the most powerful person in the world. When the office was first created, the chief executive, along with the branch it leads, was not meant to be as important as the position has become today. Now, some worry that the branch enjoys more power than it should, especially since Americans place such importance on the presidency. But despite this reality, Congress and the Supreme Court remain an important way to limit the other branch’s power.

Race Relations & Media Affairs Correspondent at and A self-confessed news and political junkie, Jeff’s writing has been featured in Small Business Trends, Business2Community, and The Huffington Post. Born in Southern California and having experienced the 1992 L.A. Riots up close and personal, Jeff’s insights are informed by his experiences as a black man and a conservative.

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