The President of the United States
The President is the head of the executive branch and plays a large role in making America’s laws. His job is to approve the laws that Congress creates. When the Senate and the House approve a bill, they send it to the President. If he agrees with the law, he signs it and the law goes into effect.
If the President does not like a bill, he can refuse to sign it. When he does this, it is called a veto. If the President vetoes a bill, it will most likely never become a law. Congress can override a veto, but to do so two-thirds of the Members of Congress must vote against the President.
Despite all of his power, the President cannot write bills. He can propose a bill, but a member of Congress must submit it for him.
In addition to playing a key role in the lawmaking process, the President has several duties. He serves as the American Head of State, meaning that he meets with the leaders of other countries and can make treaties with them. However, the Senate must approve any treaty before it becomes official.
The President is also the Chief of the Government. That means that he is technically the boss of every government worker.
Also, the President is the official head of the U.S. military. He can authorize the use of troops overseas without declaring war. To officially declare war, though, he must get the approval of the Congress.
The President and the Vice-President are the only officials chosen by the entire country. Not just anyone can be President, though. In order to be elected, one must be at least 35 years old. Also, each candidate must be a natural-born U.S. citizen and have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years. When elected, the President serves a term of four years. The most one President can serve is two terms, for a total of eight years.
Before 1951, the President could serve for as many terms as he wanted. However, no one had tried. After two terms as President, George Washington chose not to run again. All other Presidents followed his example until Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt successfully ran for office four times. Early in his fourth term, he died, in 1945. Six years later, Congress passed the 22nd Amendment, which limits Presidents to two terms.
Reprinted from Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids