President of the United States

President of the United States
Incumbent
Joe Biden
since January 20, 2021
Style
Type
AbbreviationPOTUS
Member of
ResidenceWhite House
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerElectoral College or via succession from vice presidency
Term lengthFour years, renewable once
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the United States
FormationMarch 4, 1789 (1789-03-04)[6][7][8]
First holderGeorge Washington[9]
Salary400,000 United States dollars per year
Websitewww.whitehouse.gov

The president of the United States (POTUS)[A] is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

The power of the presidency has grown substantially[11] since the first president, George Washington, took office in 1789.[6] While presidential power has ebbed and flowed over time, the presidency has played an increasingly significant role in American political life since the beginning of the 20th century, carrying over into the 21st century with notable expansions during the presidencies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush.[12][13] In modern times, the president is one of the world's most powerful political figures and the leader of the world's only remaining superpower.[14][15][16][17] As the leader of the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP, the president possesses significant domestic and international hard and soft power.

Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government and vests executive power in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law and the responsibility to appoint federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory, and judicial officers. Based on constitutional provisions empowering the president to appoint and receive ambassadors and conclude treaties with foreign powers, and on subsequent laws enacted by Congress, the modern presidency has primary responsibility for conducting U.S. foreign policy. The role includes responsibility for directing the world's most expensive military, which has the second-largest nuclear arsenal.

The president also plays a leading role in federal legislation and domestic policymaking. As part of the system of separation of powers, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation. Since modern presidents are typically viewed as leaders of their political parties, major policymaking is significantly shaped by the outcome of presidential elections, with presidents taking an active role in promoting their policy priorities to members of Congress who are often electorally dependent on the president.[18] In recent decades, presidents have also made increasing use of executive orders, agency regulations, and judicial appointments to shape domestic policy.

The president is elected indirectly through the Electoral College to a four-year term, along with the vice president. Under the Twenty-second Amendment, ratified in 1951, no person who has been elected to two presidential terms may be elected to a third. In addition, nine vice presidents have become president by virtue of a president's intra-term death or resignation.[B] In all, 45 individuals have served 46 presidencies spanning 58 four-year terms.[C] Joe Biden is the 46th and current president of the United States, having assumed office at noon EST on January 20, 2021.

  1. ^ "How to Address the President; He Is Not Your Excellency or Your Honor, But Mr. President". The New York Times. The Washington Star. August 2, 1891.
  2. ^ "USGS Correspondence Handbook—Chapter 4". United States Geological Survey. July 18, 2007. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  3. ^ "Models of Address and Salutation". International Trade Administration. Archived from the original on July 20, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  4. ^ "Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers for Foreign Affairs", Protocol and Liaison Service, United Nations. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  5. ^ The White House Office of the Press Secretary (September 1, 2010). "Remarks by President Obama, President Mubarak, His Majesty King Abdullah, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas Before Working Dinner". The White House. Retrieved July 19, 2011 – via National Archives.
  6. ^ a b "The conventions of nine states having adopted the Constitution, Congress, in September or October, 1788, passed a resolution in conformity with the opinions expressed by the Convention and appointed the first Wednesday in March of the ensuing year as the day, and the then seat of Congress as the place, 'for commencing proceedings under the Constitution.'

    "Both governments could not be understood to exist at the same time. The new government did not commence until the old government expired. It is apparent that the government did not commence on the Constitution's being ratified by the ninth state, for these ratifications were to be reported to Congress, whose continuing existence was recognized by the Convention, and who were requested to continue to exercise their powers for the purpose of bringing the new government into operation. In fact, Congress did continue to act as a government until it dissolved on the first of November by the successive disappearance of its members. It existed potentially until March 2, the day preceding that on which the members of the new Congress were directed to assemble." Owings v. Speed, 18 U.S. (5 Wheat) 420, 422 (1820)

  7. ^ Maier, Pauline (2010). Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787–1788. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 433. ISBN 978-0-684-86854-7.
  8. ^ "March 4: A forgotten huge day in American history". Philadelphia: National Constitution Center. March 4, 2013. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  9. ^ "Presidential Election of 1789". Digital Encyclopedia. Mount Vernon, Virginia: Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  10. ^ Safire, William (2008). Safire's Political Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 564. ISBN 978-0-19-534061-7.
  11. ^ Ford, Henry Jones (1908). "The Influence of State Politics in Expanding Federal Power". Proceedings of the American Political Science Association. 5: 53–63. doi:10.2307/3038511. JSTOR 3038511.
  12. ^ "How 9/11 Radically Expanded The Power of the U.S. Government". Time. September 11, 2021. Retrieved September 29, 2023.
  13. ^ Peterson, Erin. "Presidential Power Surges". Harvard Law School. Retrieved September 29, 2023.
  14. ^ Von Drehle, David (February 2, 2017). "Is Steve Bannon the Second Most Powerful Man in the World?". Time.
  15. ^ "Who should be the world's most powerful person?". The Guardian. London. January 3, 2008.
  16. ^ Meacham, Jon (December 20, 2008). "Meacham: The History of Power". Newsweek. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  17. ^ Zakaria, Fareed (December 20, 2008). "The Newsweek 50: Barack Obama". Newsweek. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  18. ^ Pfiffner, J. P. (1988). "The President's Legislative Agenda". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 499: 22–35. doi:10.1177/0002716288499001002. S2CID 143985489.
  19. ^ "Grover Cleveland—24". White House..


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