What branch deals with leaders of other countries

All the members of the Cabinet take the title Secretary, excepting the head of the Justice Department, who is styled Attorney General. The U. Its aims include meeting the needs of farmers and ranchers, promoting agricultural trade and production, assuring food safety, protecting natural resources, fostering rural communities, and ending hunger in America and abroad. The USDA also plays an important role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries.

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The Department of Commerce is the government agency tasked with improving living standards for all Americans by promoting economic development and technological innovation. The department supports U. The agency also formulates telecommunications and technology policy, and promotes U. The mission of the Department of Defense DOD is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The Department of Defense is the largest government agency, with more than 1.

Together, the military and civilian arms of DOD protect national interests through war-fighting, providing humanitarian aid, and performing peacekeeping and disaster relief services. The mission of the Department of Education is to promote student achievement and preparation for competition in a global economy by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access to educational opportunity.

It administers federal funding for scientific research to further the goal of discovery and innovation — ensuring American economic competitiveness and improving the quality of life for Americans. Agencies of HHS conduct health and social science research, work to prevent disease outbreaks, assure food and drug safety, and provide health insurance.

Public Health Service and 3 human services agencies. The missions of the Department of Homeland Security are to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks; protect the American people, our critical infrastructure, and key resources; and respond to and recover from incidents that do occur. The third largest Cabinet department, DHS was established by the Homeland Security Act of , largely in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, The new department consolidated 22 executive branch agencies, including the U. Customs Service, the U. Coast Guard, the U. DHS employs , people in its mission to patrol borders, protect travelers and our transportation infrastructure, enforce immigration laws, and respond to disasters and emergencies.


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The agency also promotes preparedness and emergency prevention among citizens. Policy is coordinated by the Homeland Security Council at the White House, in cooperation with other defense and intelligence agencies, and led by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. The Department plays a major role in supporting homeownership for lower- and moderate-income families through its mortgage insurance and rent subsidy programs.

Offices within HUD include the Federal Housing Administration, which provides mortgage and loan insurance; the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, which ensures all Americans equal access to the housing of their choice; and the Community Development Block Grant Program, which helps communities with economic development, job opportunities, and housing rehabilitation.

HUD also administers public housing and homeless assistance.

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DOI manages million acres of surface land, or about one-fifth of the land in the United States, and manages hundreds of dams and reservoirs. Geological Survey. The DOI manages the national parks and is tasked with protecting endangered species. Every year it raises billions in revenue from energy, mineral, grazing, and timber leases, as well as recreational permits and land sales. The mission of the Department of Justice DOJ is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Marshals, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Attorney General is the head of the DOJ and chief law enforcement officer of the federal government. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters, advises the President and the heads of the executive departments of the government, and occasionally appears in person before the Supreme Court.

The Department of Labor oversees federal programs for ensuring a strong American workforce. These programs address job training, safe working conditions, minimum hourly wage and overtime pay, employment discrimination, and unemployment insurance. For this, a government platform is negotiated, in order for the participating parties to toe the line and support their cabinet.

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However, this is not always successful: individual parties or members of parliament can still vote against the government, and the cabinet can break up from internal disagreement or be dismissed by a motion of no confidence. The size of cabinets varies, although most contain around ten to twenty ministers. Researchers have found an inverse correlation between a country's level of development and cabinet size: on average, the more developed a country is, the smaller is its cabinet.

In the United Kingdom and its colonies, cabinets began as smaller sub-groups of the English Privy Council. The term comes from the name for a relatively small and private room used as a study or retreat. Phrases such as "cabinet counsel," meaning advice given in private to the monarch, occur from the late 16th century, and, given the non-standardized spelling of the day, it is often hard to distinguish whether "council" or "counsel" is meant. The Oxford English Dictionary credits Francis Bacon in his Essays with the first use of "Cabinet council", where it is described as a foreign habit, of which he disapproves: "For which inconveniences, the doctrine of Italy, and practice of France, in some kings' times, hath introduced cabinet counsels; a remedy worse than the disease".

Charles I began a formal "Cabinet Council" from his accession in , as his Privy Council, or "private council", was evidently not private enough, [ citation needed ] and the first recorded use of "cabinet" by itself for such a body comes from , and is again hostile and associates the term with dubious foreign practices. Under the Westminster system , members of the cabinet are Ministers of the Crown who are collectively responsible for all government policy. All ministers, whether senior and in the cabinet or junior ministers, must publicly support the policy of the government, regardless of any private reservations.

Although, in theory, all cabinet decisions are taken collectively by the cabinet, in practice many decisions are delegated to the various sub-committees of the cabinet, which report to the full cabinet on their findings and recommendations. As these recommendations have already been agreed upon by those in the cabinet who hold affected ministerial portfolios, the recommendations are usually agreed to by the full cabinet with little further discussion.

Cabinet deliberations are secret and documents dealt with in cabinet are confidential. Most of the documentation associated with cabinet deliberations will only be publicly released a considerable period after the particular cabinet disbands, depending on provisions of a nation's freedom of information legislation. In theory the prime minister or premier is first among equals. However, the prime minister is the person from whom the head of state will ultimately take advice on the exercise of executive power , which may include the powers to declare war, use nuclear weapons, expel ministers from the cabinet, and to determine their portfolios in a cabinet reshuffle.

This position in relation to the executive power means that, in practice, the prime minister has a high degree of control over the cabinet: any spreading of responsibility for the overall direction of the government has usually been done as a matter of preference by the prime minister — either because they are unpopular with their backbenchers, or because they believe that the cabinet should collectively decide things.

The shadow cabinet consists of the leading members, or frontbenchers , of an opposition party , who generally hold critic portfolios "shadowing" cabinet ministers, questioning their decisions and proposing policy alternatives. In some countries, the shadow ministers are referred to as spokespersons.

The Westminster cabinet system is the foundation of cabinets as they are known at the federal and provincial or state jurisdictions of Australia , Bangladesh , Canada , Pakistan , India , South Africa , New Zealand , and other Commonwealth of Nations countries whose parliamentary model is closely based on that of the United Kingdom. Under the doctrine of separation of powers , a cabinet under a presidential system of government is part of the executive branch. In addition to administering their respective segments of the executive branch, cabinet members are responsible for advising the head of government on areas within their purview.

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They are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the head of government and are therefore strongly subordinate to the president as they can be replaced at any time. Normally, since they are appointed by the president, they are members of the same political party, but the executive is free to select anyone, including opposition party members, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Normally, the legislature or a segment thereof must confirm the appointment of a cabinet member; this is but one of the many checks and balances built into a presidential system. The legislature may also remove a cabinet member through a usually difficult impeachment process. In the Cabinet, members do not serve to influence legislative policy to the degree found in a Westminster system; however, each member wields significant influence in matters relating to their executive department.

Since the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt , the President of the United States has acted most often through his own executive office or the National Security Council rather than through the Cabinet as was the case in earlier administrations. Although the term 'Secretary' is usually used to name the most senior official of a government department, some departments have different titles to name such officials.

For instance, the Department of Justice uses the term Attorney General instead of Justice Secretary but the Attorney General is nonetheless a cabinet-level position. Communist states can be ruled de facto by the Politburo , such as the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Its mission is to protect America's natural resources, offer recreation opportunities, conduct scientific research, conserve and protect fish and wildlife, and honor our trust responsibilities to American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and our responsibilities to island communities.

DOI manages million acres of surface land, or about one-fifth of the land in the United States, and manages hundreds of dams and reservoirs. Geological Survey. The DOI manages the national parks and is tasked with protecting endangered species. Every year it raises billions in revenue from energy, mineral, grazing, and timber leases, as well as recreational permits and land sales. The mission of the Department of Justice DOJ is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Marshals, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Attorney General is the head of the DOJ and chief law enforcement officer of the federal government. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters, advises the President and the heads of the executive departments of the government, and occasionally appears in person before the Supreme Court. The Department of Labor oversees federal programs for ensuring a strong American workforce. These programs address job training, safe working conditions, minimum hourly wage and overtime pay, employment discrimination, and unemployment insurance.

The Department of Labor's mission is to foster and promote the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements. The Department of State plays the lead role in developing and implementing the President's foreign policy. Major responsibilities include United States representation abroad, foreign assistance, foreign military training programs, countering international crime, and a wide assortment of services to U.

Foreign Service employees — as well as with international organizations. At home, more than 5, civil employees carry out the mission of the Department. The mission of the Department of Transportation DOT is to ensure a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people.

The Department of the Treasury is responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the soundness and security of the U. The Department operates and maintains systems that are critical to the nation's financial infrastructure, such as the production of coin and currency, the disbursement of payments to the American public, the collection of taxes, and the borrowing of funds necessary to run the federal government.


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  • The Department works with other federal agencies, foreign governments, and international financial institutions to encourage global economic growth, raise standards of living, and, to the extent possible, predict and prevent economic and financial crises. The Treasury Department also performs a critical and far-reaching role in enhancing national security by improving the safeguards of our financial systems, implementing economic sanctions against foreign threats to the U. The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for administering benefit programs for veterans, their families, and their survivors.

    These benefits include pension, education, disability compensation, home loans, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, survivor support, medical care, and burial benefits. Veterans Affairs became a cabinet-level department in Of the 25 million veterans currently alive, nearly three of every four served during a war or an official period of hostility.

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    About a quarter of the nation's population — approximately 70 million people — are potentially eligible for V. The Executive Branch.

    The Vice President The primary responsibility of the Vice President of the United States is to be ready at a moment's notice to assume the Presidency if the President is unable to perform his duties. Executive Office of the President Every day, the President of the United States is faced with scores of decisions, each with important consequences for America's future. The Cabinet The Cabinet is an advisory body made up of the heads of the 15 executive departments.

    Department of Agriculture The U. Department of Commerce The Department of Commerce is the government agency tasked with improving living standards for all Americans by promoting economic development and technological innovation. Department of Defense The mission of the Department of Defense DOD is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.

    Department of Education The mission of the Department of Education is to promote student achievement and preparation for competition in a global economy by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access to educational opportunity.

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    Department of Health and Human Services The Department of Health and Human Services HHS is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. Department of Homeland Security The missions of the Department of Homeland Security are to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks; protect the American people, our critical infrastructure, and key resources; and respond to and recover from incidents that do occur.

    Department of Housing and Urban Development The Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD is the federal agency responsible for national policies and programs that address America's housing needs, that improve and develop the nation's communities, and that enforce fair housing laws.

    Department of Justice The mission of the Department of Justice DOJ is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans. Department of Labor The Department of Labor oversees federal programs for ensuring a strong American workforce.

    Department of State The Department of State plays the lead role in developing and implementing the President's foreign policy. Department of Transportation The mission of the Department of Transportation DOT is to ensure a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people.

    Department of the Treasury The Department of the Treasury is responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the soundness and security of the U. Department of Veterans Affairs The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for administering benefit programs for veterans, their families, and their survivors.


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