The Fifteen Cabinet Departments The Cabinet is the informal advisory body brought together by the president to serve his needs. It is NOT specifically mentioned in the Constitution, but helps the president to execute the laws and carry out his Constitutional obligations.
The Original Four Departments Department of State Department of the Treasury Department of Defense (called the War Department) Department of Justice (called the office of the Attorney General)
Department of State Issues passports, visas, travel warnings Provides information on emergencies outside the U.S. Advises the President on foreign policy Negotiates foreign policy Represents the U.S. at the United Nations.
Department of the Treasury Collects taxes Borrows money for the government Coins and prints money Enforces alcohol, tobacco, and firearms laws.
Department of Defense – national security (Pentagon: Joint Chiefs, Army, Navy, Air force, Marines) Department of Justice – – enforces federal law – gives legal advice to the president – runs the U.S. court system and federal prisons
Department of the Interior – manages public lands, national parks, wildlife refuges, hydroelectric power plants, Native American affairs, mining, and natural resources. Department of Agriculture – inspects food, manages school lunch and food stamp programs, helps farmers, manages national forests, promotes U.S. ag products overseas.
Department of Commerce – international trade, economic growth, census, protects ocean and coastal resources, manages patents and trademarks (NOAA, NHC) Department of Labor – enforces work laws, promotes job training & childcare
Department of Health & Human Services – healthcare programs, prevention & control of diseases, medicare & medicaid, enforces food & drug laws (CDC, FDA) Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) – low income housing, home financing, fair housing
Department of Transportation – oversees highways, mass transit, air travel, railroads, pipelines, maritime laws Department of Energy – oversees energy technology, nuclear weapons research, hydroelectric power, operates energy facilities, regulates nuclear power plants
Department of Education – distributes federal money to public schools, oversees educational research Department of Veterans Affairs – oversees benefits, pensions, and medical programs for veterans; maintains military cemeteries (VA hospitals)
Department of Homeland Security Created in 2002 in response to attacks of 9/11/2001. Mission is to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce the U.S.’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize damage from attacks. Also responds to natural disasters Customs Service, ICE, Secret Service, FEMA, Coast Guard