United States federal executive departments

The United States federal executive departments are the principal units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. They are analogous to ministries common in parliamentary or semi-presidential systems but (the United States being a presidential system) they are led by a head of government who is also the head of state. The executive departments are the administrative arms of the President of the United States. There are currently 15 executive departments.

The heads of the executive departments receive the title of Secretary of their respective department, except for the Attorney General who is head of the Justice Department (and the Postmaster General who until 1971 was head of the Post Office Department). The heads of the executive departments are appointed by the President and take office after confirmation by the United States Senate, and serve at the pleasure of the President. The heads of departments are members of the Cabinet of the United States, an executive organ that normally acts as an advisory body to the President. In the Opinion Clause (Article II, section 2, clause 1) of the U.S. Constitution, heads of executive departments are referred to as "principal Officer in each of the executive Departments".

The heads of executive departments are included in the line of succession to the President, in the event of a vacancy in the presidency, after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

Current departmentsEdit

Seal Department Formed Employees Annual budget Head
Portrait Name
and title
  State July 27, 1789 69,000
13,000 Foreign Service
11,000 Civil Service
45,000 local
$52.404 billion
(2018)
  Daniel Bennett Smith
Secretary of State
(Acting)
  Treasury September 2, 1789 86,049
(2014)
$20 billion
(2019)
  Andy Baukol
Secretary of the Treasury
(Acting)
  Defense September 18, 1947 2.86 million $721.5 billion
(2020)
  David Norquist
Secretary of Defense
(Acting)
  Justice July 1, 1870 113,543
(2012)
$29.9 billion
(2019)
  John Demers
Attorney General
(Acting)
  Interior March 3, 1849 70,003
(2012)
$20.7 billion
(2013)
  Scott de la Vega
Secretary of the Interior
(Acting)
  Agriculture May 15, 1862 105,778
(June 2007)
$155 billion
(2019)
  Kevin Shea
Secretary of Agriculture
(Acting)
  Commerce November 28, 1937 43,880
(2011)
$9.67 billion
(2018)
  Wynn Coggins
Secretary of Commerce
(Acting)
  Labor March 4, 1913 17,450
(2014)
$12.1 billion
(2012)
  Al Stewart
Secretary of Labor
(Acting)
  Health and Human Services April 11, 1953 79,540
(2015)
$1.286 trillion
(2020)
  Norris Cochran
Secretary of Health and Human Services
(Acting)
  Housing and Urban Development September 9, 1965 8,416
(2014)
$32.6 billion
(2014)
  Matt Ammonn
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
(Acting)
  Transportation April 1, 1967 58,622 $75.1 billion
(2016)
  Lana Hurdle
Secretary of Transportation
(Acting)
  Energy August 4, 1977 12,944
(2014)
$27.9 billion
(2015)
  David Huizenga
Secretary of Energy
(Acting)
  Education October 17, 1979 3,912
(2018)
$68 billion
(2016)
  Phil Rosenfelt
Secretary of Education
(Acting)
  Veterans Affairs March 15, 1989 377,805
(2016)
$180 billion
(2017)
  Dat Tran
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
(Acting)
  Homeland Security November 25, 2002 229,000
(2017)
$51.672 billion
(2020)
  David Pekoske
Secretary of Homeland Security
(Acting)

Former departmentsEdit

Seal Department Formed Abolished Superseded by Last head
Portrait Name
and title
  War August 7, 1789 September 18, 1947 Department of the Army
Department of the Air Force
  Kenneth C. Royall
Secretary of War
  Post Office February 20, 1792 July 1, 1971 Postal Service   Winton M. Blount
Postmaster General
  Navy April 30, 1798 August 10, 1949 Department of Defense
(as executive department)
becomes military department
  Francis P. Matthews
Secretary of the Navy
  Army September 18, 1947   Gordon Gray
Secretary of the Army
  Air Force   W. Stuart Symington
Secretary of the Air Force

Proposed departmentsEdit

  • Department of Industry and Commerce, proposed by Secretary of the Treasury William Windom in a speech given at a Chamber of Commerce dinner in May 1881.[1]
  • Department of Natural Resources, proposed by the Eisenhower administration,[2] President Richard Nixon,[3] the 1976 GOP national platform,[4] and by Bill Daley (as a consolidation of the Departments of the Interior and Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency).[5]
  • Department of Peace, proposed by Senator Matthew Neely in the 1930s, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, and other members of the U.S. Congress.[6][7]
  • Department of Social Welfare, proposed by President Franklin Roosevelt in January 1937.[8]
  • Department of Public Works, proposed by President Franklin Roosevelt in January 1937.[8]
  • Department of Conservation (renamed Department of Interior), proposed by President Franklin Roosevelt in January 1937.[8]
  • Department of Urban Affairs and Housing, proposed by President John F. Kennedy.[9]
  • Department of Business and Labor, proposed by President Lyndon Johnson.[10]
  • Department of Community Development, proposed by President Richard Nixon; to be chiefly concerned with rural infrastructure development.[3][11]
  • Department of Human Resources, proposed by President Richard Nixon; essentially a revised Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.[3]
  • Department of Economic Affairs, proposed by President Richard Nixon; essentially a consolidation of the Departments of Commerce, Labor, and Agriculture.[12]
  • Department of Environmental Protection, proposed by Senator Arlen Specter and others.[13]
  • Department of Intelligence, proposed by former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell.[14]
  • Department of Global Development, proposed by the Center for Global Development.[15]
  • Department of Art, proposed by Quincy Jones.[16]
  • Department of Business, proposed by President Barack Obama as a consolidation of the U.S. Department of Commerce's core business and trade functions, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.[17][18]
  • Department of Education and the Workforce, proposed by President Donald Trump as a consolidation of the Departments of Education and Labor.[19]
  • Department of Health and Public Welfare, proposed by President Donald Trump as a renamed Department of Health and Human Services.[20]
  • Department of Economic Development, proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren to replace the Commerce Department, subsume other agencies like the Small Business Administration and the Patent and Trademark Office, and include research and development programs, worker training programs, and export and trade authorities like the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative with the single goal of creating and defending good American jobs.[21]
  • Department of Technology, proposed by businessman and 2020 Democratic presidential Candidate Andrew Yang.[22]
  • Department of Children and Youth, proposed by Marianne Williamson.[23]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "A Department of Commerce" (PDF). The New York Times. 1881-05-13.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ Thrush, Glenn (November 8, 2013). "Locked in the Cabinet". Politico. Archived from the original on November 17, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  6. ^ Schuman, Frederick L. (1969). Why a Department of Peace. Beverly Hills: Another Mother for Peace. p. 56. OCLC 339785.
  7. ^ "History of Legislation to Create a Dept. of Peace". Archived from the original on 2006-07-20.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "23 - Special Message to the Congress Transmitting Reorganization Plan 1 of 1962". The University of California, Santa Barbara - The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Public Notes on 02-RMSP3". Archived from the original on June 13, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  14. ^ "A Conversation with Michael McConnell". Council on Foreign Relations (Federal News Service, rush transcript). June 29, 2007. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  15. ^ "Time for a Cabinet-Level U.S. Department of Global Development". The Center for Global Development. Archived from the original on January 14, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  16. ^ Clarke, Jr., John (January 16, 2009). "Quincy Jones Lobbies Obama for Secretary of Culture Post". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2010.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ "President Obama Announces proposal to reform, reorganize and consolidate Government". Barack Obama White House. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  18. ^ "Obama Suggests 'Secretary of Business' in a 2nd Term - Washington Wire - WSJ". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on March 1, 2017. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  19. ^ "White House Proposes Merging Education And Labor Departments". NPR.org. Archived from the original on June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  20. ^ "Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century | Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations" (PDF). White House. 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 12, 2019.
  21. ^ Warren, Team (2019-06-04). "A Plan For Economic Patriotism". Medium. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  22. ^ "Regulate AI and other Emerging Technologies". Andrew Yang for President. Archived from the original on August 20, 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  23. ^ "U.S. Department of Children and Youth "The Whole Child Plan"". Marianne Williamson for President. Retrieved 2020-12-01.

External linksEdit