Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
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The Constitution says that the United States must have a President and a Vice President. These two people and the people who work for them belong to the Executive Branch of the federal government. It is the duty of the President of the United States to run the federal government and to see that the laws of our nation are carried out.

The President is the highest representative of the people of our nation. The Presidential Seal has fifty stars surrounding it to show that the President represents all United States citizens. He or she must focus on the welfare of the entire nation, not just the people in one state or district like senators and representatives.

 The President:

  • represents our country in discussions with other nations.
  • leads our nation in times of war.
  • makes suggestions to Congress about laws.
  • writes the budget, but must get Congress to approve it.
  • works closely with Congress to get laws passed or rejected.

The President has the most important job in the nation. If a President dies or is in some other way unable to carry out his or her job, the Vice President becomes the new President of the United States.

The President chooses people to help him or her. Some of these are on the President's personal staff, like the press secretary, speech writers, and policy aides. Others are the heads of executive (Cabinet) departments. Others are heads of White House Offices and Agencies.

 

Task: Visit this web site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/).

1. Go to the Briefing Room and answer this question: What is the focus of the current press release statement issued today?

2. Look up the White House Offices and Agencies (note that these are not the Cabinet departments).

3. Choose one office or agency and list its duties.