Our Federal System of Government
Session 22: Cabinet
- Daily newspapers
- Explain that, although the cabinet is not included in the Constitution of the United States, every President has had a cabinet whose role was to advise the chief executive and help him or her implement federal laws. Washington began with four cabinet secretaries. Name them for students.
- Ask students to turn to the section on the cabinet in their textbooks.
- Today there are many more cabinet positions. The cabinet includes the Vice President and, by law, the heads of 15 executive departments: the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, and the Attorney General. Under President George W. Bush, cabinet-level rank also has been accorded to the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency; the Director, Office of Management and Budget; the Director, National Drug Control Policy; and the United States Trade Representative. For more information, go to the White House link: <http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/cabinet.html>.
- Provide a selection of daily newspapers and reprints of appropriate Internet articles. Ask students to identify articles showing how the cabinet operates. Write a summary of the situation in the article and how the cabinet agency was involved.