What is the Executive Branch of Government?
In the United States, there are three main branches of government. These are known as the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. Each of these perform separate but intertwined tasks and procedures that are in place and delegated by the United States Constitution as a way of running the country as smoothly as possible. The executive branch of government is arguably the most prestigious, as it includes the president of the country within its authority. The president of the United States is essentially the head of the executive branch, and this person acts as the country’s Commander-in-Chief. This means that he or she is essentially in command of the country’s armed forces and, while checks and balances are in place with other branches of government, can make decisions regarding war and protecting the country.
The president’s official powers are outlined in the United States Constitution, and if he or she oversteps any of these boundaries, it is up to the judicial branch to bring this matter to court. However, in times of national emergency, such as when Franklin D. Roosevelt essentially declared war on Japan in 1941 before Congress gave official approval, overstepping these Constitutional boundaries may be ignored by the courts.
Of course, even though he or she may be the most powerful person within it, the president is not the only member of the executive branch. This is a fact that many people are often surprised to find out. In fact, the executive branch also includes what is commonly referred to as the Presidential Cabinet. This group of people is often appointed directly by the president him or herself and exists to advise the president on specific matters.
The executive branch also includes members of various departments of the United States government, including the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and even the Environmental Protection Agency. The members of these departments have their own chiefs of staff and other leadership positions who are responsible for making decisions in specific situations. In some cases, these members of the executive branch are given free reign to make decisions on their own. At other times, the president may choose to override a decision or even appoint a new department head, depending on the specific situation.
The executive branch includes about four million people, which is surprising to many who believe that the sole power of the branch rests within the president. In reality, the president has little power to make decisions aside from those Constitutionally delegated to him or her. For this reason, it is important for presidents to carefully appoint people to other positions within the executive branch who will carry out the wants and desires of the president. This way, the president’s agenda can be carried out successfully in government.
Overall, the executive branch is a very powerful one indeed, especially considering the large number of members that it employs and the powers that are delegated to it in the United States Constitution. However, with a system of careful checks and balances in place, it must still work closely with the judicial and legislative branches in order to accomplish anything in the United States government.