lecture13.doc - LECTURE NOTES UCLA PS 40 Department of...

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LECTURE NOTES UCLA Department of Political Science Winter 2010 PS 40 Introduction to American Politics Prof. Thomas Schwartz HUNK 13 THE PRESIDENCY: STRUCTURE AND POWERS Here we turn to the executive branch. Most of it, indeed most of the U.S. government, is the bureaucracy – all the offices and civil servants who do most of the day-to-day work of regulating your behavior and providing you with services. But today we shall examine only the top of that iceberg, the President and his immediate subordinates. Constitutional Source of Executive Powers Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive. It is remarkably short but for the lengthy statement about presidential election. The President is made Commander in Chief and given the power to enforce the law, appoint top subordinates and judges, negotiate treaties, receive foreign diplomats , commission officers , convene Congress, and veto legislation. Article I of the Constitution establishes the Legislative branch. When making laws, this branch designs and finances much of the executive branch and delegates its own powers to that branch. Without such delegation, there would not be much of an executive branch. Organization of the Executive Branch Immediately below the President, the executive branch has 2 parts: the Executive Office of the President , and the Departments and Agencies . Apart from these two parts there is the somewhat strange office of the Vice President . Historically, the VP did very little. He did not attend Cabinet meetings until the 1920s, under President Harding, and he was not regarded as an executive officer until the 1950s, under President Eisenhower. 1
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1. Executive Office of the President This comprises people who work in or near the White House and have little or no legal authority but do have great proximity and access. They report directly to the president . Their role is advisory . They help the President do his job but have no operational authority : they cannot run the programs that provide you with services and regulate your lives. The different components of the Executive Office of the President are the following: White House Staff Chief of Staff (runs the White House and helps the President run the Executive Office) Speech writers Counsel Legislative Liaison (helps the president coordinate relations with the legislative branch) Press Secretary, etc., etc. Within the White House staff the top people are made “Counselors to the President.” Some of them sit in cabinet meetings, courtesy of the President. Some become more important than some cabinet members. The Rest of the Executive Office NSC (National Security Council), OMB (Office of Management and Budget), CEA (Council of Economic Advisors), The U.S. Trade Representative, etc., etc. The NSC helps the President coordinate the work of the State and Defense Departments and
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lecture13.doc - LECTURE NOTES UCLA PS 40 Department of...

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