Social Studies - 2018-19

CE.6d - Roles and Powers of the Executive Branch

The student will apply social science skills to understand the American constitutional government at the national level by

d) describing the roles and powers of the executive branch.

Adopted: 2015



The executive branch plays a key role in the policymaking process.

Presidential power has grown in the years since the Constitution was ratified, but there are limits on what the president can and cannot do.


Ways the executive branch influences policymaking

 Delivering an annual speech to Congress (State of the Union address)

 Proposing legislation

 Approving or vetoing legislation

 Appointing officials who help carry out the laws

 Issuing executive acts/orders

 Appealing directly through the media and communications with citizens

Cabinet departments, agencies, and regulatory groups execute the laws.

The president exercises power as

 chief of state: ceremonial head of the government

 chief executive: head of the executive branch of government

 chief legislator: proposer of the legislative agenda

 commander-in-chief: head of the nation’s armed forces

 chief diplomat: American foreign policy leader

 chief of party: leader of the political party that controls the executive branch

 chief citizen: representative of all of the people.


Updated: May 16, 2018