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Unit 5: The Executive Branch

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Unit 5: The Executive Branch. The Cabinet. The Cabinet:. Main Idea: Introduction to the Cabinet. Notes: There are 15 major executive departments that the President must appoint heads (secretaries) of. These officials make up what is known as the cabinet. The Cabinet:. Main Idea:

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the cabinet
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Introduction to the Cabinet

Notes:

  • There are 15 major executive departments that the President must appoint heads (secretaries) of.
  • These officials make up what is known as the cabinet
the cabinet1
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Selection of the Cabinet Members

Notes:

  • There are many variables that a President must account for when considering appointees for Cabinet positions.
  • The President must balance political, social, and management considerations when making appointments.
the cabinet2
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Major Factors in Making Appointments

Notes:

  • The following are major factors a President must consider when making appointments:
    • Experience with department activity (EX: Secretary of State should have experience with foreign affairs)
    • Acceptable to interest groups associated with department.
    • High level of administrative skills and experience.
    • Race, gender, ethnic background/diversity.
    • Willing to serve.
the cabinet3
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Background/

Credentials of Cabinet Members

Notes:

  • Most Cabinet members have several things in common:
    • Advanced degrees
    • Leaders in their respective fields (law, business, science, industry, education, etc.)
    • Willing to take a pay cut
      • Secretaries earn $183,500/year (most could make double that in their professions)
the cabinet4
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Confirmation Process

Notes:

  • President makes a “wish list” of cabinet members.
  • Presidential staff members meet with potential cabinet members to discuss issues and gauge interest.
  • Presidents may “leak” the list to the media (news) to gauge public opinion.
  • Senate holds confirmation hearings.
  • Senate must confirm all Cabinet appointments.
the cabinet5
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Role of Cabinet Members

Notes:

  • Act as executive of the department that they are assigned to.
  • Advise the President on issues that relate to their department.
  • Attend meetings called by the President.
the cabinet6
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

History of the Cabinet

Notes:

  • Some President’s rely on their Cabinet’s more than others.
    • Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, and Roosevelt all either did not pay attention to their Cabinet or defied it openly.
the cabinet7
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

The Modern Cabinet

Notes:

  • More recent President’s have increased the role and power of the Cabinet.
  • Lyndon Johnson, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton all attempted to use their Cabinets, but ultimately began to rely on other sources of advice and did not use the Cabinet as George Washington originally intended.
the cabinet8
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Influence of the Cabinet

Notes:

  • Some Cabinet Secretaries have more influence on the President than others. This is because their role has to do with broader national issues.
  • These Cabinet members who have more influence are called the “inner cabinet” and have greater access to the President.
    • EX: Secretary of State, Defense, Treasury, and the Attorney General.
  • Those Cabinet members who have more narrowly defined departments, have less access to and influence on the President. These are referred to as the “outer cabinet”
    • EX: Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs.
the cabinet9
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Limitations on Cabinet Powers and Influence

Notes:

  • There are several factors that a President takes into account when it comes to using his Cabinet to help make decisions on key issues. Some of these factors are as follows:
    • Loyalty
    • Secrecy
    • Trust
the cabinet10
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Limitations on Cabinet Powers and Influence (cont’d.)

Notes:

  • Loyalty: Cabinet members have 3 constituencies: members of their department, members of Congress, special interest groups. Because of this there may be disagreements between the President, who is accountable to voters, and Cabinet members who are attempting to please multiple groups.
the cabinet11
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Limitations on Cabinet Powers and Influence (cont’d.)

Notes:

  • Secrecy: Another reason President’s do not involve Cabinet members in all key decisions, is that it is difficult for 15 people to keep sensitive information a secret. Because of this, the President may decide to make the decision alone, or only involve a small group of key officials.
the cabinet12
The Cabinet:

Main Idea:

Limitations on Cabinet Powers and Influence (cont’d.)

Notes:

  • Trust: Ideally, members of a President’s Cabinet would be people he could trust without question. The reality is that because of all the factors that go into selecting a Cabinet Member, a President may not have a lot of trust established with the individual he appointed to serve a the head of an Executive Department.
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