U6: The Executive Branch & The Bureaucracy

When I found out there was eight Presidents before George Washington, I wanted to slap somebody.

- Prince

Be sure to visit the Course Calendar for nightly readings, upcoming due dates, etc. 


  1. Explain how the president can implement a policy agenda (CON-4.A).
  2. Explain how the president's agenda can create tension and frequent confrontations with Congress (CON-4.B).
  3. Explain how presidents have interpreted and justified their use of formal and informal powers (CON-4.C).
  4. Explain how communication technology has changed the president's relationship with the national constituency and other branches (CON-4.D)
  5. Explain how the bureaucracy carries out the responsibilities of the federal government (PMI-2.A).
  6. Explain how the federal bureaucracy uses delegated discretionary authority for rule making and implementation (PMI-2.B)
  7. Explain how Congress uses its oversight power in its relationship with the executive branch (PMI-2.C)
  8. Explain how the president ensures that executive branch agencies and departments carry out their responsibilities in concert with the goals fo the administration (PMI-2.D).
  9. Explain the extent to which governmental branches can hold the bureaucracy accountable given the competing interests of Congress, the president, and the federal courts. 

Key Terms (quizlet)

The Executive

  • Ad hoc structure
  • Budget Reform Act of 1974
  • Cabinet
  • Circular Structure
  • Executive Agencies
  • Executive Office of the President
  • Executive Privilege
  • Impeachment
  • Impoundment
  • Independent Agencies
  • Inherent Powers
  • Lame Duck
  • Legislative Veto
  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
  • Perks
  • Pocket Veto
  • Presidential Coattails
  • Prime Minister
  • Pyramid Structure
  • Recessions
  • Representative Democracy
  • Twenty-Fifth Amendment
  • Twenty-Second Amendment
  • Unified Government
  • Veto Message
  • White House Office

The Bureaucracy

  • Administrative Procedure Act
  • Annual Authorization
  • Appropriation
  • Authorization Legislation
  • Buddy System
  • Bureaucracy
  • Committee Clearance
  • Competitive Service
  • Discretionary Authority
  • Duplication
  • Federal Employees Political Activities Act
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Hatch Act
  • Interagency Council
  • Iron Triangle
  • Issue Network
  • Laissez-Faire
  • Name-Request Job
  • National Environmental Policy
  • Non-Carret Executive Assignments
  • Open Meeting Law
  • Oversight
  • Patronage
  • Pendleton Act
  • Privacy Act
  • Red Tape
  • Schedule C Job
  • Senior Executive Service
  • Spoils System
  • Trust Fund
  • Waste
  • Whistleblower Protection Act

Main Topics

1. The Executive

2. The Bureuacracy

3. Review and Project