Article II of the Constitution outlines the responsibilities of the Executive Branch and of the President as a lawmaker and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The President, the Vice President, and the president’s close advisers encompass the Executive Branch of the U.S. government.
The President has the power to negotiate peace treaties and to enforce the laws that are created by Congress, but arguably his most crucial role is that of Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. From the first term of George Washington’s presidency in 1789 to the current administration, every president has been confronted with challenges on a global scale that were resolved with military action.
Decisions the president makes as Commander-in-Chief could impact the security of the United States at home, as well as the safety of troops on active duty around the world. During wartime, the president consults his Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Council to deploy troops to American military bases around the world. During peacetime, servicemen and women protect the shorelines, airways, and infrastructure of the United States while providing aid to other countries when a natural disaster strikes.
“FLOTUS”, the First Lady of the United States, organizes social events and welcomes visitors from around the world to the White House. Her role is a busy one as she balances caring for her family with her responsibilities to the President, and to the social initiatives she chooses to work on during her time as First Lady.
An important part of the administration’s foreign policy is negotiating treaties with other economic superpowers. As a peacemaker, the president travels to summits and conferences to meet with other heads-of-state about global concerns, such as confronting terrorism and safeguarding the environment. He invites leaders of other nations to the White House to attend formal state dinners or for candid talks about matters of foreign policy.
Balance of Power
The powers of each of the three branches of government are carefully kept in check by the other two.
- As a lawmaker, the President has the responsibility to approve the laws created by Congress. When the President receives a bill or resolution that both chambers of Congress have voted on, he can sign it into law or veto it. Though Congress could override a presidential veto with a 2/3 vote, more often the new legislation is reworked until it is approved by both Congress and the President.
- The President has the opportunity to appoint a new Justice to the Supreme Court in the event that a vacancy occurs during his time in office. He also chooses his Cabinet of advisors and assigns ambassadors to U.S. embassies around the world. The power to fill these influential positions within the government is kept in check by the Senate. The president’s appointments are subjected to confirmation hearings and an “up or down” vote.
- The Executive branch has authority over a wide range of federal agencies, from NASA and the US Postal Service to law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the CIA. The president relies on advice from his executive staff and the members of the Cabinet that have jurisdiction over these specific parts of the federal government to enforce the laws created by Congress.