We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Is an Executive Communication?

By Micah MacBride
Updated: May 17, 2024

Members of the executive and legislative branches of the United States government are in constant communication to perform the work of governing their country. These communications generally take the form of meetings, negotiations, and phone calls between staff members of the two respective branches. An executive communication goes beyond these informal contacts, however. It is an official message from a member of the executive branch to a specific legislator or committee within the legislative branch.

Most of the communication that takes place between the executive and legislative branches is not added to the official collection of proceeding transcripts, letters, and legislative drafts that constitute the Congressional Record. Every executive communication, on the other hand, is assigned a reference number when legislative branch receives it, and becomes part of the Congressional Record. Executive communications can come from the President, a member of the Presidential Cabinet, or the head of an independent agency.

These officials can use an executive communication to keep Congress appraised of the ongoing operations of different agencies. These can include everyday details, such as grants approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or contracts granted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Officials can also use executive communications to respond to requests for specific information that a member of congress, or a congressional committee, requested through official channels.

The U.S. Constitution explicitly reserves the powers of drafting legislation for the legislative branch alone. The executive branch can, however, suggest legislation for lawmakers to introduce as bills. When a member of the executive branch has such a suggestion, he or she typically sends it to a member of Congress through an executive communication. Such a message could contain language that is ready to be introduced into the law-making process as a bill, or a set of principles for the lawmaker to use in crafting one.

Another form of executive communication is one that most people are familiar with — the presidential veto. When a President vetoes a bill that Congress has passed and sent to the White House for his signature, the executive branch sends the bill back to Congress with a message stating the President's objections to the bill and why he vetoed it. When Congress officially receives this veto message, it acts as official notice that both chambers of Congress must vote again. The bill must receive a two-thirds majority in each chamber to override the presidential veto.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.