The Role of the U.S. President and Cabinet

The White House, The US President, The US Cabinet

The U.S. President and the Cabinet: The Executive Branch

The U.S. executive branch is made up of two essential components: the president and the Cabinet he or she selects to represent each of the 15 major departments of U.S. government. The Cabinet is an intimate group that meets at least once a week to discuss the most essential aspects of U.S. policy and government with the president. Members of the executive branch function not only as essential policymakers, but also as direct representatives of the American electorate.

The Role of the U.S. President and Cabinet

The following sites provide historical and contextual background for the executive branch of the U.S. government, including the office of the president, and explain the need for a Cabinet.

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How the U.S. Presidential Cabinet Functions

We hear about the U.S. Cabinet and its decisions every day in the news, and although it is an essential element in U.S. politics, many Americans aren’t familiar with exactly how the Cabinet works. The following sites provide an overview of the rules that govern the Cabinet and the U.S. departments it represents.

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  • Cabinet members are selected by the president and generally serve with him throughout the length of his term. When the president leaves office, his Cabinet resigns as well.
  • A traditional presidential Cabinet contains these positions: the vice president, the attorney general, and the heads of 15 executive departments: the secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs.

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Presidents and Their Cabinets in History

The sites below provide information on the careers of past presidents and the politicians who served in their Cabinets. This is an informative way to trace the political history of the United States, as many important historical figures have served in the Cabinet.

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President Obama and His Cabinet

Discover who President Obama has selected to represent his Cabinet thus far and what their roles entail. Because there are so many secretaries to keep track of, it’s easy to forget which name goes with which department: these sites offer profiles and information on members of the new administration.

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