Beautiful American Landscape Paintings By Elliot Essman
Life in the USA
Government and Law
Structure of Government
The Executive Branch
In the United States, the head of Executive Branch of the government is the President of the United States. The President acts as both head of state and head of government, as well as functioning as Commander in Chief of all American armed forces. The role has much power, subject to modification by the legislative and judicial branches of the government.
The American Congress creates laws, but it is up to the President and the Executive Branch to put the laws into effect and to see that they are enforced. When Congress creates a bill to create a law, the President has the power either to sign the bill into law or to veto the bill. Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses (the House of Representatives and the Senate).
The Executive Branch is responsible for diplomacy. The President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which become effective only when ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. The President also has unlimited power to extend pardons and clemencies for federal crimes, except in cases of impeachment.
By tradition, the President and the First Family live in the White House in Washington, D.C., also the location of the President's Oval Office and the offices of the senior staff. When the President travels by plane, the presidential aircraft is designated Air Force One.
The Vice President’s main function is to remain ready to fulfill the office of the President in the case of the President’s death or incapacity. This has occurred nine times in American history. The other function of the Vice President is to preside over the United States senate and, if necessary, to cast the deciding vote in the case of a tie.
The President maintains a group of administrators called “the cabinet,” consisting of the heads of 15 executive departments. Each of these functionaries has the title of “Secretary” except for the Justice Department, which is headed by the “Attorney General.” These departments are:
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