The Roles and Responsibilities of the President
As Presidents’ Day approaches, it’s time to start discussing the roles and responsibilities of the President with your class! But where do you start? And how do you explain the president’s elusive and prestigious job title? Learn all of that and more here!
Who is the President?
Simply put, the President is the head of the state, government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces! The president is the head honcho of the US government. He is the spokesperson of the country, the signer of bills and laws, and the decider of various movements within the other branches of government.
As of 2020, the current President of the United States is Joe Biden! As a democratically elected position, the President is the voice of the people, meant to lead the country to the best of their ability for the good of the citizens of the USA. Because of this, the various roles and responsibilities of the president vary. To best understand these roles and responsibilities, you must first understand how the president comes to BE the president, the branches of the government, their role in deciding bills and laws, and how simply being the President can sway these various cogs and wheels within the US government!
How is the President Elected?
Electing a president is a bit more complicated than it may appear! The Electoral College is a combination of electors chosen from each state (and varying in numbers depending on the size of the population of that state) and the popular vote given by the American people.
For a President to be elected, they need at least 270 electors. Various other factors can make an election more exciting, like a candidate winning the popular vote but losing due to electors or the elections having to go to the House of Representatives for a final decision. Regardless, electing a president depends on workers within the Branches of the US Government, much like how the roles and responsibilities of the president are also reliant on these same branches. So, what are these branches?
What are the Branches of the US Government?
There are three branches of the US Government! This specific number of units is all thanks to the US Constitution, which was created to ensure power is distributed evenly throughout the branches to avoid corruption! These three branches are:
The Legislative branch is in charge of lawmaking! Within this branch, we have the bodies of Congress (which is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives) and special agencies that support Congress’ various movements within lawmaking. Like electing the president, the American people can vote for their representatives in Congress through local and nationwide elections.
The Executive branch is in charge of carrying out laws! The bodies that make up this branch of government include the President, the Vice President, the Cabinet, which the president has appointed, and outside committees and federal agencies that support carrying out these laws. The Executive branch is the second step to a law or bill’s life, where it is reviewed by the higher powers of the land and edited before heading off to the Judicial branch. The president and vice president are elected by the American people, much like the members of Congress!
The last branch of government is the Judicial branch! Here, laws are evaluated by the Supreme Court, which can apply them to specific cases within the world of law and order if they like the rules. The Supreme Court also can send regulations to be rewritten or removed if they are found to violate the Constitution!
How do the Branches of Government Affect the President?
Each branch of the government can affect the other components. In regards to how the different units can affect the president’s role specifically, Congress can disregard a presidential nominee and even remove a working President from office if within their rights to do so. This process is known as Impeachment.
As for the Judicial branch, the president nominated members of the Supreme Court. This power allows presidents to vastly change the party layout of the Supreme Court, making them able to lean either Republican or Democratic depending on their nominated members. The Senate, in turn, can confirm or deny the president’s nomination!
So the President has some power over the branches of government, just as the branches of government have control over the president! But how do you name this power for the President, and how does this power divulge into varying responsibilities? Let’s discover these roles and responsibilities of the president together!
What are the Roles and Responsibilities of the President?
As we went over the branches of government, we learned that the President is the head of the Executive branch. This role, which gives the president the titles of Chief Administrator, Chief Legislator, and Chief Executive, allows the president to sign off on and enforce laws for the country. This is a rather big and important task for just one person, so the president can appoint cabinet members to help sign or veto bills, which become laws! It should be noted that even with these roles, the president can now write his rules, only review ones created by Congress.
Assigning cabinet members is another vital role of the president. The president must be able to collect a group of like-minded individuals who will not allow any faulty bills to leave the Executive branch. Therefore, the president must assign 24 people to his Cabinet under the same scrutiny as the president!
Beyond the Executive branch, the president is also the Chief Diplomat! This role focuses on the president being a diplomat within other countries and governments. The president must be able to be poised, polite, and of course, diplomatic within this role.
Being the Chief of the Party is another responsibility in the hands of the president. But, again, this is a simple role, just a title given to assigning the president as the head of their respective party! As an example, Joe Biden is the Chief of the Democratic Party! And if we have a Republican president in the future, they will be the Chief of the Republican Party!
The role of the Chief of State is integral to the US government’s image in the public eye. Whenever you see the president rewarding soldiers or civilians with Medals of Honor or other prestigious rewards, you know the president is acting as the Chief of State! Think of this role as being a title for a figurehead, as that is what the president is when serving as the Chief of State.
The final role we’ll cover is that the president possesses Chief Citizen. This role is perhaps the most symbolic of all. As Chief Citizen, the president is meant to represent all citizens and be a model during peaceful times to ensure they last. All of these roles and responsibilities are indeed hard to keep track of! So how do you help your students understand the importance of the president and President’s Day? Well, Twinkl is here to guide you through our unique resources!