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What Is the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government? | History

This video provides the answers to questions such as what powers the Executive branch has, as well as providing an in depth understanding of the branch.


The executive branch is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress within America and its jurisdictions.

Relevant Constitutional Sections:

Article 2 Section 1

  • "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term..."

Article 2 Section 2

  • "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States..."

  • "He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; 

  • "and he shall nominate, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court"

Composure and Composition:

The Executive branch consists of the President, Vice President, Cabinet Ministers and other executive agencies which carry out the orders of the President. 

Checks to The Branch:

Judicial review is a check to the power of the executive as bills passed by the executive can be declared unconstitutional. This is evident in the 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court to allow the provisions in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), saying that it was constitutional.

The Legislative branch can check the power of the executive branch by investigating the behaviour of the President and others, even launching an impeachment if the President or Vice President have allegedly committed illegal acts. This is evident in the impeachment of Donald Trump in 2019 and 2021 - both failing. 


The Legislative branch can check the presidential veto of the Executive branch through a supermajority veto, where 2/3rds of the Congress votes for the bill. The Legislative branch successfully vetoed Trump's veto by voting 2/3rds for the 'National Defense Authorization Act'.

Although the Executive branch nominates federal and supreme court judges, the Senate has the responsibility to approve such nomination/s. This is evident in the appointment of Amy Coney Barret in 2020 to the Supreme Court. 

If the House of Representatives can't agree with the executive branch over the proposed budget, then the government shuts down, whcih was the case in 2018 December 22 to  2019 January 25th.

The legislative branch confirms electoral college votes and has procedures in place to reject those votes. In this, theres also the aspect of unfaithful electors who vote against the electorates choice for another candidate. 

AUS Legislative Branch
AUS Executive Branch
AUS Judicial Branch
USA Legislative Branch
USA Executive Branch
USA Judicial Branch
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