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Cabinet of the United States
  (Redirected from United States Cabinet)
The Cabinet of the United States is a body consisting of the vice president of the United States and the heads of the executive branch's federal executive departments in the federal government of the United States, which is regarded as the principal advisory body to the president of the United States. The president is not formally a member of the Cabinet. The heads of departments, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, are members of the Cabinet, and acting department heads also sit at the Cabinet meetings whether or not they have been officially nominated for Senate confirmation. The president may designate heads of other agencies and non-Senate-confirmed members of the Executive Office of the President as Cabinet-level members of the Cabinet.
Cabinet of the United States
Current: Cabinet of Joe Biden

Great Seal of the United States
Agency overview
FormedMarch 4, 1789
(232 years ago)
TypeAdvisory body
HeadquartersCabinet Room, White House, Washington, D.C.
Employees24 members (not counting the VP):
Agency executive
Key document
Opinion Clause (inferred)
Websitewww.whitehouse.gov
The Cabinet does not have any collective executive powers or functions of its own, and no votes need to be taken. As of April 13, 2021, there were 24 members (26 including the president and vice president): 15 department heads, and nine Cabinet-level members, all of whom, except two, had received Senate confirmation. The Cabinet meets with the president in a room adjacent to the Oval Office. The members sit in the order in which their respective department was created, with the earliest being closest to the president and the newest farthest away.[1]
The members of the Cabinet serve at the pleasure of the president, who can dismiss them at any time without the approval of the Senate, as affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Myers v. United States (1926), or downgrade their Cabinet membership status. The president can organise the Cabinet as he sees fit, such as instituting committees. Like all federal public officials, Cabinet members are also subject to impeachment by the House of Representatives and trial in the Senate for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors".
The Constitution of the United States does not explicitly establish a Cabinet. The Cabinet's role, inferred from the language of the Opinion Clause (Article II, Section 2, Clause 1) of the Constitution is to provide advice to the president. Additionally, the Twenty-fifth Amendment authorizes the vice president, together with a majority of the heads of the executive departments, to declare the president "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office". The heads of the executive departments are—if eligible—in the presidential line of succession.
History
James K. Polk and his Cabinet in 1845: the first Cabinet to be photographed.
The Nixon Cabinet, 1970
The first Obama Cabinet, September 2009
The Trump Cabinet, March 2017
The Biden Cabinet, April 2021
The tradition of the Cabinet arose out of the debates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention regarding whether the president would exercise executive authority solely or collaboratively with a cabinet of ministers or a privy council. As a result of the debates, the Constitution (Article II, Section 1, Clause 1) vests "all executive power" in the president singly, and authorizes—but does not compel—the president (Article II, Section 2, Clause 1) to "require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices".[2][3] The Constitution does not specify what the executive departments will be, how many there will be, or what their duties will be.
George Washington, the first president of the United States, organized his principal officers into a Cabinet, and it has been part of the executive branch structure ever since. Washington's Cabinet consisted of five members: himself, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of War Henry Knox and Attorney General Edmund Randolph. Vice President John Adams was not included in Washington's Cabinet because the position was initially regarded as a legislative officer (president of the Senate).[4] It was not until the 20th century that vice presidents were regularly included as members of the Cabinet and came to be regarded primarily as a member of the executive branch.
Presidents have used Cabinet meetings of selected principal officers but to widely differing extents and for different purposes. During President Abraham Lincoln's administration, Secretary of State William H. Seward advocated the use of a parliamentary-style Cabinet government. However, Lincoln rebuffed Seward. While a professor Woodrow Wilson also advocated a parliamentary-style Cabinet but after becoming president did not implement it in his administration. In recent administrations, Cabinets have grown to include key White House staff in addition to department and various agency heads. President Ronald Reagan formed seven sub-cabinet councils to review many policy issues, and subsequent presidents have followed that practice.[3]
Federal law
In 3 U.S.C. § 302 with regard to delegation of authority by the president, it is provided that "nothing herein shall be deemed to require express authorization in any case in which such an official would be presumed in law to have acted by authority or direction of the president." This pertains directly to the heads of the executive departments as each of their offices is created and specified by statutory law (hence the presumption) and thus gives them the authority to act for the president within their areas of responsibility without any specific delegation.
Under the 1967 Federal Anti-Nepotism statute, federal officials are prohibited from appointing their immediate family members to certain governmental positions, including those in the Cabinet.[5]
Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, an administration may appoint acting heads of department from employees of the relevant department. These may be existing high-level career employees, from political appointees of the outgoing administration (for new administrations), or sometimes lower-level appointees of the administration.[6]
Confirmation process
A map showing the historical makeup of the Cabinet of the United States by year.
The heads of the executive departments and all other federal agency heads are nominated by the president and then presented to the Senate for confirmation or rejection by a simple majority (although before the use of the "nuclear option" during the 113th United States Congress, they could have been blocked by filibuster, requiring cloture to be invoked by 35 supermajority to further consideration). If approved, they receive their commission scroll, are sworn in and then begin their duties. When the Senate is not in session, the President can appoint acting heads of the executive departments and so do at the beginning of his term.
An elected vice president does not require Senate confirmation, nor does the White House chief of staff, which is an appointed staff position of the Executive Office of the President.
OfficeSenate confirmation review committee
Secretary of StateForeign Relations Committee
Secretary of the TreasuryFinance Committee
Secretary of DefenseArmed Services Committee
Attorney GeneralJudiciary Committee
Secretary of the InteriorEnergy and Natural Resources Committee
Secretary of AgricultureAgriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee
Secretary of CommerceCommerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
Secretary of LaborHealth, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
Secretary of Health and Human ServicesHealth, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (consult)
Finance Committee (official)
Secretary of Housing and Urban DevelopmentBanking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee
Secretary of TransportationCommerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
Secretary of EnergyEnergy and Natural Resources Committee
Secretary of EducationHealth, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
Secretary of Veterans AffairsVeterans Affairs Committee
Secretary of Homeland SecurityHomeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
Trade RepresentativeFinance Committee
Director of National IntelligenceSelect Committee on Intelligence
Director of the Office of Management and BudgetBudget Committee
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
Director of the Office of Science and Technology PolicyCommerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
Administrator of the Environmental Protection AgencyEnvironment and Public Works Committee
Administrator of the Small Business AdministrationSmall Business and Entrepreneurship Committee
Salary
Main article: Executive Schedule
The heads of the executive departments and most other senior federal officers at cabinet or sub-cabinet level receive their salary under a fixed five-level pay plan known as the Executive Schedule, which is codified in Title 5 of the United States Code. Twenty-one positions, including the heads of the executive departments and others, receiving Level I pay are listed in 5 U.S.C. § 5312, and those forty-six positions on Level II pay (including the number two positions of the executive departments) are listed in 5 U.S.C. § 5313. As of January 2021, the Level I annual pay was set at $221,400.[7]
The annual salary of the vice president is $235,300.[7] The salary level was set by the Government Salary Reform Act of 1989, which provides an automatic cost of living adjustment for federal employees. The vice president receives the same pension as other members of Congress based on their ex officio position as the president of the Senate.[8]
Current Cabinet and Cabinet-rank officials
See also: Cabinet of Joe Biden
The individuals listed below were nominated by President Joe Biden to form his Cabinet and were confirmed by the United States Senate on the date noted, or are serving as acting department heads by his request pending the confirmation of his nominees.
Vice president and the heads of the executive departments
See also: United States federal executive departments
The Cabinet permanently includes the vice president and the heads of 15 executive departments, listed here according to their order of succession to the presidency. The speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate follow the vice president and precede the secretary of state in the order of succession, but both are in the legislative branch and are not part of the Cabinet.
Cabinet
Office
(Constituting instrument)
IncumbentTook officeStatus

Vice President
(Constitution, Article II, Section I)

Kamala Harris
January 20, 2021

Secretary of State
(22 U.S.C. § 2651a)

Antony Blinken
January 26, 2021

Secretary of the Treasury
(31 U.S.C. § 301)

Janet Yellen
January 26, 2021

Secretary of Defense
(10 U.S.C. § 113)

Lloyd Austin
January 22, 2021

Attorney General
(28 U.S.C. § 503)

Merrick Garland
March 11, 2021

Secretary of the Interior
(43 U.S.C. § 1451)

March 16, 2021

Secretary of Agriculture
(7 U.S.C. § 2202)

Tom Vilsack
February 24, 2021

Secretary of Commerce
(15 U.S.C. § 1501)

Gina Raimondo
March 3, 2021

Secretary of Labor
(29 U.S.C. § 551)

Marty Walsh
March 23, 2021

Secretary of Health and Human Services
(Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953,
67 Stat. 631 and 42 U.S.C. § 3501)

Xavier Becerra
March 19, 2021

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
(42 U.S.C. § 3532)

Marcia Fudge
March 10, 2021

Secretary of Transportation
(49 U.S.C. § 102)

Pete Buttigieg
February 3, 2021

Secretary of Energy
(42 U.S.C. § 7131)

Jennifer Granholm
February 25, 2021

Secretary of Education
(20 U.S.C. § 3411)

Miguel Cardona
March 2, 2021

Secretary of Veterans Affairs
(38 U.S.C. § 303)

Denis McDonough
February 9, 2021

Secretary of Homeland Security
(6 U.S.C. § 112)

Alejandro Mayorkas
February 2, 2021
Cabinet-level officials
The president may designate additional positions to be members of the Cabinet, which can vary under each president. They are not in the line of succession and are not necessarily officers of the United States.[9]
Cabinet-level officials
OfficeIncumbentTerm beganStatus

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
(5 U.S.C. § 906, Executive Order11735)

Michael S. Regan
March 11, 2021

Director of the Office of Management and Budget
(31 U.S.C. § 502, Executive Order11541,
Executive Order11609, Executive Order 11717)

Shalanda Young
March 24, 2021Acting

Director of National Intelligence
(50 U.S.C. § 3023)

Avril Haines
January 21, 2021

Trade Representative
(19 U.S.C. § 2171)

March 18, 2021

Ambassador to the United Nations
(22 U.S.C. § 287)

Linda Thomas-Greenfield
February 25, 2021

Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors
(15 U.S.C. § 1023)

Cecilia Rouse
March 12, 2021

Administrator of the Small Business Administration
(15 U.S.C. § 633)

Isabel Guzman
March 17, 2021

Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
Science Advisor to the President
(42 U.S.C. § 6612)

Eric Lander
June 2, 2021

White House Chief of Staff
(Pub.L. 76–19, 53 Stat. 561, enacted April 3, 1939,
Executive Order8248, Executive Order 10452,
Executive Order12608)

Ron Klain
January 20, 2021
Former executive and Cabinet-level departments
Renamed heads of the executive departments
Positions intermittently elevated to Cabinet-rank
Proposed Cabinet departments
See also
References
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  2. ^ Prakash, Sai. "Essays on Article II:Executive Vesting Clause". The Heritage Guide to The Constitution. The Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original on July 1, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Gaziano, Todd. "Essays on Article II: Opinion Clause". The Heritage Guide to The Constitution. The Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original on July 1, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  5. ^ Wulwick, Richard P.; Macchiarola, Frank J. (1995). "Congressional Interference With The President's Power To Appoint" (PDF). Stetson Law Review. XXIV: 625–652. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
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  8. ^ Purcell, Patrick J. (January 21, 2005). "Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress"(PDF). CRS Report for Congress. Congressional Research Service. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 3, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
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  10. ^ The office of Secretary of Foreign Affairs existed under the Articles of Confederation from October 20, 1781 to March 3, 1789, the day before the Constitution came into force.
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  12. ^ Tenet, George (2007). At the Center of the Storm. London: HarperCollins. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-06-114778-4. Under President Clinton, I was a Cabinet member—a legacy of John Deutch's requirement when he took the job as DCI—but my contacts with the president, while always interesting, were sporadic. I could see him as often as I wanted but was not on a regular schedule. Under President Bush, the DCI lost its Cabinet-level status.
  13. ^ Schoenfeld, Gabriel (July–August 2007). "The CIA Follies (Cont'd.)". Commentary. Retrieved May 22, 2009. Though he was to lose the Cabinet rank he had enjoyed under Clinton, he came to enjoy "extraordinary access" to the new President, who made it plain that he wanted to be briefed every day.
  14. ^ Sciolino, Elaine (September 29, 1996). "C.I.A. Chief Charts His Own Course". New York Times. Archived from the original on May 30, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2009. It is no secret that Mr. Deutch initially turned down the intelligence position, and was rewarded for taking it by getting Cabinet rank.
  15. ^ Clinton, Bill (July 1, 1993). "Remarks by the President and Lee Brown, Director of Office of National Drug Control Policy". White House. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2009. We are here today to install a uniquely qualified person to lead our nation's effort in the fight against illegal drugs and what they do to our children, to our streets, and to our communities. And to do it for the first time from a position sitting in the President's Cabinet.
  16. ^ Cook, Dave (March 11, 2009). "New drug czar gets lower rank, promise of higher visibility". Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on March 15, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2009. For one thing, in the Obama administration the Drug Czar will not have Cabinet status, as the job did during George W. Bush's administration.
  17. ^ "President Clinton Raises FEMA Director to Cabinet Status" (Press release). Federal Emergency Management Agency. February 26, 1996. Archived from the original on January 16, 1997. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
  18. ^ Fowler, Daniel (November 19, 2008). "Emergency Managers Make It Official: They Want FEMA Out of DHS". CQ Politics. Archived from the original on November 29, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2010. During the Clinton administration, FEMA Administrator James Lee Witt met with the Cabinet. His successor in the Bush administration, Joe M. Allbaugh, did not.(Archived March 3, 2010, by WebCite at
  19. ^ "A Department of Commerce". The New York Times. May 13, 1881.
  20. ^ Improving Management and Organization in Federal Natural Resources and Environmental Functions: Hearing Before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, U. S. Senate. Diane Publishing. April 1, 1998. ISBN 9780788148743. Archived from the original on January 14, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2017 – via Google Books. Chairman Stevens. Thank you very much. I think both of you are really pointing in the same direction as this Committee. I do hope we can keep it on a bipartisan basis. Mr. Dean, when I was at the Interior Department, I drafted Eisenhower's Department of Natural Resources proposal, and we have had a series of them that have been presented.
  21. ^ a b c "116—Special Message to the Congress on Executive Branch Reorganization". The University of California, Santa Barbara—The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017. The administration is today transmitting to the Congress four bills which, if enacted, would replace seven of the present executive departments and several other agencies with four new departments: the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Community Development, the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Economic Affairs.
  22. ^ "Republican Party Platform of 1976". The University of California, Santa Barbara—The American Presidency Project. August 18, 1976. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
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  24. ^ Schuman, Frederick L. (1969). Why a Department of Peace. Beverly Hills: Another Mother for Peace. p. 56. OCLC 339785.
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  26. ^ a b c "10—Summary of the Report of the Committee on Administrative Management". The University of California, Santa Barbara—The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017. Overhaul the more than 100 separate departments, boards, commissions, administrations, authorities, corporations, committees, agencies and activities which are now parts of the Executive Branch, and theoretically under the President, and consolidate them within twelve regular departments, which would include the existing ten departments and two new departments, a Department of Social Welfare, and a Department of Public Works. Change the name of the Department of Interior to Department of Conservation.
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  28. ^ "121–Special Message to the Congress: The Quality of American Government". The University of California, Santa Barbara—The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017. In my State of the Union Address, and later in my Budget and Economic Messages to the Congress, I proposed the creation of a new Department of Business and Labor.
  29. ^ "33—Special Message to the Congress on Rural Development". The University of California, Santa Barbara—The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  30. ^ "116—Special Message to the Congress on Executive Branch Reorganization". The University of California, Santa Barbara—The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017. The new Department of Economic Affairs would include many of the offices that are now within the Departments of Commerce, Labor and Agriculture. A large part of the Department of Transportation would also be relocated here, including the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Railroad Administration, the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Transportation Systems Center, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Motor Carrier Safety Bureau and most of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Small Business Administration, the Science Information Exchange program from the Smithsonian Institution, the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Office of Technology Utilization from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would also be included in the new Department.
  31. ^ "Public Notes on 02-RMSP3". Archived from the original on June 13, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
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