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Multiple Choice
Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question.
Who Are the Cabinet Members?

The president appoints the heads of the executive departments, thereby appointing the cabinet members.

Each of these appointments is subject to confirmation by the Senate . The cabinet is viewed as part of the president's official "family," and the Senate gives the president considerable freedom in selecting cabinet members. Rejections have been rare . Out of hundreds of such appointments, only a few have been turned down.

Presidents choose cabinet members for several reasons . Political party affiliation plays an obvious role . Republican presidents usually choose Republicans, and Democrats usually choose Democrats. Usually, presidents award a few cabinet posts to important party members who supported their presidential campaigns

The president also tries to balance the nominees geographically according to their backgrounds. For example, the secretary of the interior is usually someone from a western state who has experience dealing with land policy and conservation issues . This is because of the large store of natural resources in the West and federal ownership of large portions of western land. The secretary of housing and urban development is usually some one with an urban background. The secretary of agriculture is usually from one of the farming states .

Presidents sometimes take into account the desires of interest groups that are affected by a cabinet department's policies . For example, the secretary of labor is generally someone acceptable to labor unions. The secretary of the treasury could be a well-known banker or someone with close ties to the financial community.

Recent presidents have also considered gender, race, ethnic backgrounds, and other personal characteristics when choosing department heads. Public pressure has forced presidents to try to create a cabinet that reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of the nation.

By custom, cabinet members resign after a new president is elected . In this way, the new president can create a new cabinet.


Who must confirm the President’s Cabinet appointments before they can take office?
Entire Congress
House of Representatives


Which Statement is true about Cabinet appointments
the president usually picks people from his own party
the President usually picks people from the opposition party
the President usually picks people from both parties
political party plays no role in the selection of the Presidents Cabinet


The desires of interest groups and cultural diversity are factors that the President takes into consideration when choosing a cabinet
The Role of the Cabinet

The cabinet has no power as a body. The president alone determines the extent of the cabinet's power and influence. Presidents are not required by law even to form a cabinet or to hold regular meetings. Therefore, meetings may be held frequently or infrequently, depending on the individual president. Meetings are held in the Cabinet Room of the White House and are usually closed to the public and the media. Frequently, they are attended by other government officials, such as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Changing Roles

Presidents have never been obliged to follow the advice of their cabinets . How much presidents use the cabinet as a whole is strictly up to them. Some presidents, such as George Washington, James Buchanan, and Dwight Eisenhower, relied on their cabinets often for advice and assistance. Other presidents relied on their cabinets very little. On one famous occasion, when President Abraham Lincoln convened his cabinet to read them the draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, he started off by saying: "I have gotten you together to hear what I have written down. I do not wish your advice about the matter, for that I have determined myself." On another occasion, Lincoln is reported to have rejected a unanimous negative vote of his cabinet, saying, "seven nays, one aye-the ayes have it." Lincoln's vote was, of course, the one aye (or "yes" vote) . Woodrow Wilson went even further-he held no cabinet meetings at all during World War 1 (1914-1918) .

Other presidents have bypassed their official cabinet altogether and have relied on informal groups of political friends for advice. Andrew Jackson, for example, began meeting with a small group of friends and minor government officials to discuss important matters . Because they often met in the White House kitchen, they came to be called the kitchen cabinet. Franklin Roosevelt created a famous group of advisers called the "brain trust." These business executives, professors, research specialists, and other special advisers, including-   the chief justice of the Supreme Court, helped him construct many of the New Deal programs of the 1930s.

Some recent presidents have tried to make effective use of the cabinet as an advisory body. Usually, such attempts have failed. Most recent presidents have tended to seek advice from a very select number of individuals outside the cabinet .


Which statement is true
The Department heads have the final say in matters that concern their departments
If enough Department heads agree they can over-ride the President on policy
The President takes advice from the Department heads but he has the final say on policy
Congress alone determines executive department policy
The Executive Office of the President

The EOP is made up of the top advisers and assistants who help the president carry out major duties . Over the years, the executive office has changed according to the needs and leadership styles of the presidents. It has become an increasingly influential and important part of presidential government.

White House Office

Of all the executive staff agencies in the EOP, the White House Office has the most direct contact with the president. The White House Office consists of the president's key aides, whom the president sees daily, as well as several hundred professional and clerical staff members. The most important advisers occupy the West Wing, where the president's Oval Office and the Cabinet Room are located . (Some staff members work in the East Wing as well.)

The Staff

The White House Office is led by the chief of staff, who advises the president on important matters and directs the operations of the presidential staff. The chief of staff, who is often a close personal friend of the president, has been one of the most influential of the presidential aides in recent years.

A number of other top officials, assistants, and special assistants to the president also aid in areas such as national security, the economy, and political affairs. A press secretary meets with reporters and makes public statements for the president. The counsel to the president serves as the White House lawyer and handles the president's legal matters. The White House staff also includes speechwriters, researchers, the president's physician, the director of the staff for the first lady, and a correspondence secretary. Altogether, over four hundred men and women work in the White House Office and make up the White House staff.


The Executive Office of the President is made up of the top advisors to the president


Who has the closest daily contact with the president?
the Congress
the EOP
his Cabinet
his political party


The Executive Office of the President usually occupies the
Old White House Office Building
the Left Wing of the White House
the basement of the White House
the West Wing of the White House
Duties of White House Staff

The White House staff has several duties . First, the staff investigates and analyzes problems that require the president's attention. Staff members who are specialists in a specific area, such as diplomatic relations or foreign trade, gather information for the president and suggest solutions. White House staff members also screen the questions, issues, and problems that people present to the president, so matters that can be handled by other officials do not reach the president's desk. The staff provides public relations support as well. For example, the press staff handles the president's relations with the White House press corps and sets up press conferences. Finally, the White House staff makes sure the president's decisions are carried out. Several staff members are usually assigned to work directly with members of Congress for this purpose.


The White House Staff
screen the questions, issues, and problems that people present to the president
investigates and analyzes problems that require the president's attention
makes sure the president's decisions are carried out
does all of these
gather information for the president and suggest solutions
Office of Management and Budget

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was originally called the Bureau of the Budget . Under recent presidents, the OMB has become an important and influential unit of the executive office. The main function of the OMB is to assist the president in preparing the proposed annual budget, which the president must submit to Congress in January of each year. The fiscal year (official accounting period) for the national government runs from October 1 to September 30. 

The budget of the national government lists the revenues and expenditures expected for the coming year. It indicates which programs the national government will pay for and how much they will cost. Thus, the budget is an annual statement of the public policies of the United States translated into dollars and cents. Making changes in the budget is a key way for presidents to try to influence the direction and policies of the government.

Preparing the budget is a long, complicated process similar to the process of preparing a budget for a business firm or municipal government. First, each government agency estimates the amount of funds it needs for the coming year. Then, the OMB sets objectives for each federal program. It reviews all estimates at a series of budget hearings. At the hearings, agencies must defend their dollar requests. The figures for each department are then revised and fitted into the president's overall program. They become part of the budget document the chief executive submits to Congress . After the budgets of the various agencies have been resolved, the next step is to work to get the administration budget passed by Congress, which has budget proposals of its own.

The president appoints the director of the OMB with the consent of the Senate . The director of the OMB has become at least as important as cabinet members and is often included in cabinet meetings . He or she oversees the OMB's work and argues the administration's position before Congress . The director also lobbies members of Congress to support the president's budget or to accept key features of it. Once the budget is approved by Congress, the OMB has the responsibility of putting it into practice. It oversees the execution of the budget, checking the federal agencies to ensure that they use funds efficiently.

Beyond its budget duties, the OMB also reviews new bills prepared by the executive branch. It checks these bills to be certain that they agree with the president's own positions .


What does the Office of Management and Budget do (OMB)
budget the supplies and finances for running the White House
approve the final budget bill that is passed by Congress. OMB must approve the bill.
prepare a budget for the United States and advise the President on budgetary matters
all of these


The Director of the OMB Office Management and Budget
is part of the official Presidential Cabinet
is a member of the House Budget Committee
is not part of the Cabinet but is often included in meetings
is a member of the Senate Budget Committee

The Cabinet
The cabinet is an advisory group chosen by the president to help accomplish the work of the executive branch. Although the cabinet is not mentioned in the Constitution, every president has had one. The cabinet has evolved since 1789, when Congress set up four executive departments. President George Washington met regularly on policy matters with Thomas Jefferson, head of the State Department; Henry Knox, head of the War Department; Alexander Hamilton, head of the Treasury Department; and Edmund Randolph, head of the office of the attorney general (which later became the justice Department) . Newspaper writers of the day called this group Washington's "cabinet ." Every president since Washington has relied to some degree on the advice and work of the cabinet .

Today, the cabinet is made up of the heads of the fifteen executive departments, the vice president, and other key officials chosen by the president . The fifteen departments of the executive branch are:
Health and Human Services
Veterans Affairs
Housing and Urban Development
Homeland Security


Trade relations and policy with other countries


In charge of the National Parks like Yellowstone


Tracks terrorists and guards against acts of terrorism against the U.S.


Responsible for our dealings with foreign countries


Looks out for the well being of former servicemen and women


Relationships with unions and other workers


Prosecutes criminals and enforces federal law. In charge of the FBI


No Child Left Behind Act


The nations airlines, trains, busses and trucking


Responsible for the money supply. Also responsible for the Coast Guard


Provides low cost loans for low income people to purchase homes in cities


Supplies of oil, electricity, nuclear power plants


In charge of the Armed forces and planning for war


Makes sure drug supplies are pure. General well being of the people


Farming policy - looks out for the interests of farmers
National Security Council
Office of Science and Technology
Office of Administration
Council on Environmental Quality
Council of Economic Advisers
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Office of Policy Development


establishes and carries out U.S. trade policy. The trade representative, appointed by the president and approved by the Senate, speaks for the United States at international trade meetings and directs negotiations and trade agreements with foreign governments.


advises the president on domestic policy matters, such as trade, energy, housing, and farming. The office studies the nation's needs and makes domestic policy suggestions to the president. Once the policies have been formed, this office helps the president put the government's programs into effect.


Office of Administration


was created in 1947 to provide advice on and managerial assistance with matters concerning American military and foreign policy, as well as national security. The members are the president, the vice president, and the secretaries of state and defense. An adviser appointed by the president directs the staff . The director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have also become members. The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a group made up of the commanding officers of the four branches of the armed services, plus a chairperson


was created in 1969 to assist the president with matters of environmental policy. It studies government programs designed to protect the environment and helps the president to prepare a yearly report on the environment to Congress . The council is made up of three members appointed by the president with Senate approval yearly report on the environment to Congress . The council is made up of three members appointed by the president with Senate approval yearly report on the environment to Congress . The council is made up of three members appointed by the president with Senate approval


advises the president on scientific, engineering, and other technological matters that have a bearing on national policies and programs . It reviews the national government's contributions to science and technology. The director, chosen by the president with Senate approval, is drawn from the nation's scientific community.


was created by Congress in 1946 to advise the president on economic matters . It analyzes the national economy, advises the president on how the economy is doing, and recommends measures to maintain economic stability in the nation. The council also helps the president prepare the annual Economic Report of the President. The council usually includes three leading economists, appointed by the president with the consent of the Senate, and a small staff of persons who prepare statistics.


was established in 1989. The director is appointed by the president with Senate approval and is regularly identified by the press as the nation's "drug czar." The office is responsible for drafting continuing plans to wage the national government's war on drugs. It also coordinates the efforts of the more than fifty federal agencies that deal with drug control

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