The Vice President of the United States (informally referred to as VPOTUS, or Veep) is a constitutional officer in the legislative branch of the federal government of the National Security Act of 1947 as the President of the Senate under Article One, Section Three of the U.S. Constitution.The vice president is a statutory member of the National Security Council under the National Security Act of 1947, and through the 25th Amendment is the highest-ranking official in the presidential line of succession in the executive branch of the federal government. The executive power of both the vice president and the president is granted under Article Two, Section One of the Constitution. The vice president is indirectly elected, together with the president, to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College. The Office of the Vice President of the United States assists and organizes the vice president's official functions.
As the President of the United States Senate, the vice president votes only when it is necessary to break a tie. While Senate customs have created supermajority rules that have diminished this constitutional tie-breaking authority, the vice president still retains the ability to influence legislation; for example, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 was passed in the Senate by a tie-breaking vice presidential vote. Additionally, pursuant to the Twelfth Amendment, the vice president presides over the joint session of Congress when it convenes to count the vote of the Electoral College.
While the vice president's only constitutionally prescribed functions aside from presidential succession relate to their role as President of the Senate, the role of the vice president evolved during the 20th century into more of an executive branch position. Currently, the vice president is usually seen as an integral part of a president's administration and presides over the Senate only on ceremonial occasions or when a tie-breaking vote may be needed. The Constitution does not expressly assign the office to any one branch, causing a dispute among scholars whether it belongs to the executive branch, the legislative branch, or both.