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Executive Branch

KHS Executive

QuestionAnswer
divided government Government in which one party controls the White House and a different party controls one or both houses of Congress.
unified government The same party controls the White House and both houses of Congress.
Budget Reform Act of 1974 Effort to control pres. impoundments; Pres. must spend all appropriated funds; Pres can notify which funds will not be spent and Congress has forty-five days to agree or not. If pres. wants to delay spending money, Congress must be told and may refuse
cabinet heads of the fourteen major executive departments who meet to discuss matters with the president. These “secretaries” receive their positions by presidential nomination and confirmation by the Senate. They can be removed at the will of the president.
circular structure A method in which the president organizes the White House staff so that they reporting directly to the president.
delegate representation The representative is expected to act in accord with the preferences of her/his constituents.
Electoral College formally selects the president; # equal to the number of congressional representation; states decide how its electors are chosen; candidate who receives a majority wins; If no candidate obtains a majority, the House of Representatives chooses from top 3
executive agencies Federal agencies that are part of the executive branch but outside the structure of the cabinet departments. Their heads typically serve at the pleasure of the president and can be removed at the president’s discretion. NASA, EPA, cabinet
Executive Office of the President Executive agencies that report directly to the president and whose purpose is to perform staff services for the president. Top positions are filled by presidential nomination with Senate confirmation.
executive privilege Pres. claims that meetings with advisers are confidential and private. 1973 Supreme Court ruled this claim is valid when sensitive military or diplomatic matters are involved, but refused to recognize an “absolute unqualified” pres. privilege of immunity.
impeachment Form of indictment voted by the House of Reps. Brought against the pres., the VP, and all “civil officers” of the federal government. To be removed from his or her position, the impeached officer must be convicted by a two-thirds vote of the Senate
Impoundment The refusal of the president to spend money appropriated by Congress. The Constitution is silent on this power, but the Budget Reform Act of 1974 limits the president’s ability to impound funds.
independent agencies Federal agencies that are part of the executive branch but outside the structure of cabinet departments. Their heads typically serve fixed terms of office and can be removed only for cause. Fed, EEOC, FDIC, SEC
lame duck A politician whose power has been diminished because he or she is about to leave office as a result of electoral defeat or statutory limitation.
legislative veto Congress gives authority to the executive branch while retaining oversight power. Either house may block a proposed executive action. It is frequently used for presidential reorganization plans of the executive branch. Declared unconstitutional in 1981
line-item veto This allows the president to approve some provisions of a bill and disapprove others. Voted by the Congress, this grant of power was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Analyze the national budget submitted by the pres; study the operation of the executive branch, devise plans for reorganizing departments and agencies, develop ways of getting better info about gov. programs, and review proposals of cabinet
perks A short form of the term “perquisites,” meaning the fringe benefits of office.
pocket veto One of two ways for a president to disapprove a bill passed by Congress. If the president does not sign the bill within ten days of receiving it, and Congress has adjourned within that time, the bill does not become law.
presidential coattails The charismatic power of a president which enables congressional candidates of the same party to ride into office on the strength of the president’s popularity. This influence has declined in recent elections.
presidential coattails The charismatic power of a president which enables congressional candidates of the same party to ride into office on the strength of the president’s popularity. This influence has declined in recent elections.
pyramid structure A method in which the president organizes the White House staff so that assistants report through a hierarchy to a chief of staff.
rescissions Presidential recommendations to cut parts of appropriations bills. A 1996 law allowed the president’s rescissions to go into effect unless they are overridden by a two-thirds vote in Congress, but this was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
trustee representation The representative acts on his or her judgment, and then explains those judgments to the people.
veto message A statement the president sends to Congress accompanying a refusal to sign a bill passed by both houses. It indicates the president’s reasons for the veto. A two-thirds vote of both houses is necessary to override the veto.
White House Office Personal assistants to the president with offices in the White House. These aides advise, provide info/options, and analysis of issues for prez and do not require Senate confirmation for appointment. They can be removed at the discretion of the president.
Twenty-second Amendment A constitutional amendment ratified in 1951 which limits presidents to two terms of office.
Twenty-fifth Amendment A constitutional amendment ratified in 1967 which set the procedures for establishing presidential disability. (Role of VP and cabinet and congress.)
Counciil of Economic Advisors (CEA) advise on economic policy, analyze current and future ecnomic trends; assist with inflation and unemployment policy
National Security Council (NSC) Provide info and policy recommendations on national security; assist with national security crises; coordinate national security activities.
primary The first election in a campaign; it determines a party’s nominee for an office.
caucus An alternative to the primary used in some states. Party members meet and discuss the candidates prior to voting for a candidate or delegates to the national convention.
delegate In the presidential election process, the people selected to represent voters at the national convention.
superdelegate Party leaders and elected officials who become delegates to the national convetnion without having to run in primaries or caucuses.
national party convention Three goals: 1) nominate a presidential and VP candidate; 2) write the party platform; 3) unite behind the party's candidate
winner-takes-all In the electoral college system, the candidate who receives the most votes in a state receives all of the electoral votes for that state.
electoral college Formal system of electing the president whereby the candidate needs a simple majority (270 out of 438 electors)
elector (in electoral college) People selected under state rules to formally vote based upon the popular vote in the general election for president and vice president. Each state gets a # equal to their number of Representatives and Senators.
Bush v. Gore (2000) Halted recount in Florida. Recount was fair in theory but unfair in practice. Different standards were applied in different places so the court held that no constitutional recount could be fashioned in the time remaining.
balance the ticket Presidential candidate selects a running mate who balances his strengths and weaknesses; often based upon geographical and ideological criteria.
U.S. v. Nixon (1973) President does not have absolute unqualified presidential executive privilege of immunity from the judicial process. Upheld in Clinton case.
Created by: afailoni