As you have the right to imagine, to run the country is a difficult job, i beg your pardon is why presidents depend on members of their cabinet to advise them on an overwhelming issues.

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The U.S. Constitution never ever mentions the term “cabinet,” but post II, ar 2 lays out the role of the president’s advisors permitting that he “may call for the opinion, in writing, of the major officer in every of the executive, management departments, upon any type of subject relating to the duties the their corresponding offices.” president George Washington would certainly have regular meetings with his advisors and James Madison described the meetings together “the president’s cabinet.” The nickname stuck and also to this particular day the president’s advisors space still referred to as his “cabinet.” The advisors host the location of “Secretary” of everything department lock head, v the exception of the head of the department of Justice, that holds the title of lawyer General.

The very first presidential cabinet had actually only four departments. In enhancement to the lawyer General, president Washington’s cabinet contained the Secretaries that State, Treasury and also War (now well-known as Defense). Today, the president’s cabinet includes the heads of 15 departments. Through the exemption of the evil president, that is additionally considered a member of the cabinet, every members “serve in ~ the pleasure of the president,” meaning he have the right to fire lock at any type of time through no factor at all.


Adding Secretaries

In addition to the four original departments, heads of the adhering to have been included to the presidential cabinet end the years: internal (1849); agriculture (1889); business (1913); labor (1913); Health and Human services (1953); real estate (1966); transportation (1967); power (1979); education (1979); Veterans affairs (1992) and also Homeland defense (2003).

According come Kelly Dittmar, a political science professor at Rutgers University, the enhancement of cabinet positions “is reflect in both the growth and changes over time from administration to administration.” A president deserve to elevate any position come his room whenever that chooses.

“The typical positions are linked with leadership in major departments or agencies, i m sorry are produced via conference statute,” Professor Dittmar says. “Once the room or firm is official established, the president elevates the leadership to room or cabinet-level.”

The Nomination process

The president nominates the top or secretaries of each executive department. Those nominations space then sent to the U.S. Senate, which gives “advice and consent,” every the U.S. Constitution. Prior to the nominee is presented to the complete Senate, however, the or she is first assessed by the appropriate Senate committee.

For example, the Senate foreign Relations Committee reviews the nominee for Secretary that State, because it is the Secretary of State’s project to serve as the president’s international affairs advisor, delivering out the president’s international policies with the U.S. State Department. As soon as cleared by the individual pertinent Senate committee, the nominee is then presented to the complete Senate for confirmation or denial by a simple bulk vote.

Cabinet members are hardly ever rejected. According to FiveThirtyEight, a polling aggregation website, “Only nine cabinet appointees in all of U.S. History—by brand-new presidents plus ones attempting to to fill vacancies in the middle of their terms—have ever been voted under by the Senate.” With more than 500 cabinet nominations considered by the Senate because 1789, according to the national Constitution Center, it is a pretty short percentage.

Influencing the President

Professor Dittmar, who is likewise affiliated through the Eagleton institute of Politics, states that the amount of influence a particular cabinet member has actually on a chairman varies substantially depending ~ above the administration.

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“Ultimately, the president can guide the agenda and also influence the direction of each executive agency, but he can also administer some autonomy to the secretaries in do goals and practices for their own agency,” Professor Dittmar says. “When secretaries come in through high levels of committed expertise in the work of their agency, presidents look come them for guidance and information. In fact, their function as proclaimed in the structure is to advise the president. However, this is not constantly the case, whether because the chairman selects individuals on various other bases (not early out to committed expertise), or because the president seeks to save his agenda and also power consisted of in the White House.”

What around their loyalty? Is it come the chairman or to the department they head? As previously stated, room heads offer at the satisfied of the president. Professor Dittmar says, “Their loyalty—at least in process—is to the president. They can be gotten rid of from their article by the president at any type of time if lock fail come act in a means he deems constant with his vision or direction. The course, secretaries are also highly invest in the work of your department, yet are often reminded that the vision they have actually for their department should be in line with that of the president.”

Professor Dittmar says, “The expansion of the executive branch and also the obligations it holds method that firm secretaries—and those that job-related for them—are necessary for keeping track that governmental work-related that the chairman does not have the bandwidth to monitor on a daily basis.”

In other words, it’s a large country out there and also it take away a lot of of people to save it running smoothly.

Discussion Questions1. Would you ever want come be chairman of the united States? Why or why not? What perform you think some of the biggest obstacles are to being the president?2. What walk “to serve at the satisfied of the president” mean? perform you think this is a fair or unfair system? describe your reasoning.3. What is the process of assigning a secretary come an executive, management department? walk this detailed procedure change your thoughts ~ above the principle of “serving in ~ the satisfied of the president?”4. After reading the article, wherein does the loyalty of the secretary lie? through the president? through the room they are representing? Or, with someone else?