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United States Federal Executive Departments
The United States federal executive departments are the principal units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. They are analogous to ministries common in parliamentary or semi-presidential systems but (the United States being a presidential system) they are led by a head of government who is also the head of state. The executive departments are the administrative arms of the President of the United States. There are currently 15 executive departments. Each department is headed by a secretary of their respective department, with the exception of the Department of Justice, whose head is known as the attorney general. The heads of the executive departments are appointed by the president and take office after confirmation by the United States Senate, and serve at the pleasure of the president. The heads of departments are members of the Cabinet of the United States, an executive organ that normally acts as an advisory body to the president. In the Op ...
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Cabinet (politics)
A cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the executive branch's top leaders. Members of a cabinet are usually called cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a cabinet varies: in some countries, it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision-making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are typically the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures. In some countries, particularly those that use a parliamentary system (e.g., the UK), the Cabinet collectively decides the government's direction, especially in regard to legislation passed by the parliament. In countries with a presidential system, such as the United States, ...
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Opinion Clause
Article Two of the United States Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, which carries out and enforces federal laws. Article Two vests the power of the executive branch in the office of the president of the United States, lays out the procedures for electing and removing the president, and establishes the president's powers and responsibilities. Section 1 of Article Two establishes the positions of the president and the vice president, and sets the term of both offices at four years. Section 1's Vesting Clause declares that the executive power of the federal government is vested in the president and, along with the Vesting Clauses of Article One and Article Three, establishes the separation of powers among the three branches of government. Section 1 also establishes the Electoral College, the body charged with electing the president and the vice president. Section 1 provides that each state chooses members of the Electoral College in a ma ...
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Independent Contractor
Employment is a relationship between two parties regulating the provision of paid labour services. Usually based on a contract, one party, the employer, which might be a corporation, a not-for-profit organization, a co-operative, or any other entity, pays the other, the employee, in return for carrying out assigned work. Employees work in return for wages, which can be paid on the basis of an hourly rate, by piecework or an annual salary, depending on the type of work an employee does, the prevailing conditions of the sector and the bargaining power between the parties. Employees in some sectors may receive gratuities, bonus payments or stock options. In some types of employment, employees may receive benefits in addition to payment. Benefits may include health insurance, housing, disability insurance. Employment is typically governed by employment laws, organisation or legal contracts. Employees and employers An employee contributes labour and expertise to an end ...
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Saxbe Fix
The Saxbe fix ( ), or salary rollback, is a mechanism by which the President of the United States, in appointing a current or former member of the United States Congress whose elected term has not yet expired, can avoid the restriction of the United States Constitution's Ineligibility Clause. That clause prohibits the president from appointing a current or former member of Congress to a civil office position that was created, or to a civil office position for which the pay or benefits (collectively, "emoluments") were increased, during the term for which that member was elected until the term has expired. The rollback, first implemented by an Act of Congress in 1909, reverts the emoluments of the office to the amount they were when that member began his or her elected term. To prevent ethical conflicts, James Madison proposed language at the Constitutional Convention that was adopted as the Ineligibility Clause after debate and modification by other Founding Fathers. Historically ...
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Cost Of Living
Cost of living is the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living. Changes in the cost of living over time can be operationalized in a cost-of-living index. Cost of living calculations are also used to compare the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living in different geographic areas. Differences in cost of living between locations can be measured in terms of purchasing power parity rates. Definition Cost of living is the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living. Changes in the cost of living over time can be operationalized in a cost-of-living index. Cost of living calculations can be used to compare the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living in different geographic areas. Differences in cost of living between locations can be measured in terms of purchasing power parity rates. Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) Employment contracts and pension benefits can be tied to a cost-of-living index, typically to the consumer price index (CPI). A COLA a ...
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Member Of Parliament
A member of parliament (MP) is the representative in parliament of the people who live in their electoral district. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this term refers only to members of the lower house since upper house members often have a different title. The terms congressman/congresswoman or deputy are equivalent terms used in other jurisdictions. The term parliamentarian is also sometimes used for members of parliament, but this may also be used to refer to unelected government officials with specific roles in a parliament and other expert advisers on parliamentary procedure such as the Senate Parliamentarian in the United States. The term is also used to the characteristic of performing the duties of a member of a legislature, for example: "The two party leaders often disagreed on issues, but both were excellent parliamentarians and cooperated to get many good things done." Members of parliament typically form parliamentary groups, sometimes called caucuse ...
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Minister (government)
A minister is a politician who heads a ministry, making and implementing decisions on policies in conjunction with the other ministers. In some jurisdictions the head of government is also a minister and is designated the ‘prime minister’, ‘premier’, ‘chief minister’, ‘chancellor’ or other title. In Commonwealth realm jurisdictions which use the Westminster system of government, ministers are usually required to be members of one of the houses of Parliament or legislature, and are usually from the political party that controls a majority in the lower house of the legislature. In other jurisdictions—such as Belgium, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Slovenia, and Nigeria—the holder of a cabinet-level post or other government official is not permitted to be a member of the legislature. Depending on the administrative arrangements in each jurisdiction, ministers are usually heads of a government department and members of the government's ministry, cabinet and ...
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United States Congress
The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is bicameral, composed of a lower body, the House of Representatives, and an upper body, the Senate. It meets in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a governor's appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators and 435 representatives. The U.S. vice president has a vote in the Senate only when senators are evenly divided. The House of Representatives has six non-voting members. The sitting of a Congress is for a two-year term, at present, beginning every other January. Elections are held every even-numbered year on Election Day. The members of the House of Representatives are elected for the two-year term of a Congress. The Reapportionment Act of 1929 establishes that there be 435 representatives and the Uniform Congressional Redistricting Act requires ...
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Ineligibility Clause
The Ineligibility Clause (sometimes also called the Emoluments Clause, or the Incompatibility Clause, or the Sinecure Clause) is a provision in Article 1, Section 6, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution that makes each incumbent member of Congress ineligible to hold an office established by the federal government during their tenure in Congress; it also bars officials in the federal government's executive and judicial branches from simultaneously serving in either the U.S. House or Senate. The purpose of the clause is twofold: first, to protect the separation of powers philosophy (upon which the federal frame of government is built); and second, to prevent Congress from conspiring to create offices or increase federal officials' salaries with the expectation that members of Congress would later be appointed to these posts. Text Origins The Framers of the Constitution understood this clause primarily as an anti-corruption device. Painfully familiar with the system o ...
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Separation Of Powers Under The United States Constitution
Separation of powers is a political doctrine originating in the writings of Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu in ''The Spirit of the Laws'', in which he argued for a constitutional government with three separate branches, each of which would have defined abilities to check the powers of the others. This philosophy heavily influenced the drafting of the United States Constitution, according to which the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States government are kept distinct in order to prevent abuse of power. The American form of separation of powers is associated with a system of checks and balances. During the Age of Enlightenment, philosophers such as Montesquieu advocated the principle in their writings, whereas others, such as Thomas Hobbes, strongly opposed it. Montesquieu was one of the foremost supporters of separating the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. His writings considerably influenced the Founding Fathers of the Unite ...
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President Pro Tempore Of The United States Senate
The president pro tempore of the United States Senate (often shortened to president pro tem) is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate, after the vice president. According to Article One, Section Three of the United States Constitution, the vice president of the United States is the president of the Senate (despite not being a senator), and the Senate must choose a president '' pro tempore'' to act in the vice president's absence. The president pro tempore is elected by the Senate as a whole, usually by a resolution which is adopted by unanimous consent without a formal vote. The Constitution does not specify who can serve in this position, but the Senate has always elected one of its current members. Unlike the vice president, the president pro tempore cannot cast a tie-breaking vote when the Senate is equally divided. The president pro tempore has enjoyed many privileges and some limited powers. During the vice president's absence, the president pr ...
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Speaker Of The United States House Of Representatives
The speaker of the United States House of Representatives, commonly known as the speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789 by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. The speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House and is simultaneously its presiding officer, ''de facto'' leader of the body's majority party, and the institution's administrative head. Speakers also perform various other administrative and procedural functions. Given these several roles and responsibilities, the speaker usually does not personally preside over debates. That duty is instead delegated to members of the House from the majority party. Nor does the speaker regularly participate in floor debates. The Constitution does not require the speaker to be an incumbent member of the House of Representatives, although every speaker thus far has been. The speaker is second in the United States president ...
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