What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

Chapter 13, Section 2: General Government Information

Key executive and legislative branch office holders and contact information.

The Executive Branch

The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress and, to that end, appoints the heads of the federal agencies, including the Cabinet. The Vice President is also part of the Executive Branch, ready to assume the Presidency should the need arise.

The Cabinet and independent federal agencies are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and administration of federal laws. These departments and agencies have missions and responsibilities as widely divergent as those of the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Social Security Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Including members of the armed forces, the Executive Branch employs more than 4 million Americans.

President of the United States
Barack H. Obama
www.whitehouse.gov

The Cabinet

The tradition of the Cabinet dates back to the beginnings of the Presidency itself. Established in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, the Cabinet's role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member's respective office.

The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments, as well as the Attorney General.

Vice President of the United States
Joseph R. Biden
www.whitehouse.gov

Department of State
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
www.state.gov

Department of the Treasury
Secretary Timothy F. Geithner
www.treasury.gov

Department of Defense
Secretary Leon E. Panetta
www.defense.mil

Department of Justice
Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
www.justice.gov

Department of the Interior
Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar
www.doi.gov

Department of Agriculture
Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack
www.usda.gov

Department of Commerce
Secretary John E. Bryson
www.commerce.gov

Department of Labor
Secretary Hilda L. Solis
www.dol.gov

Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
www.hhs.gov

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Shaun L.S. Donovan
www.hud.gov

Department of Transportation
Secretary Raymond LaHood
www.dot.gov

Department of Energy
Secretary Steven Chu
www.energy.gov

Department of Education
Secretary Arne Duncan
www.ed.gov

Department of Veterans Affairs
Secretary Eric K. Shinseki
www.va.gov

Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano
www.dhs.gov

The following positions have the status of Cabinet rank:

White House Chief of Staff
Bill Daley
www.whitehouse.gov

Environmental Protection Agency
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
www.epa.gov

Office of Management and Budget
Jacob J. Lew, Director
www.whitehouse.gov/omb

U.S. Trade Representative
Ambassador Ron Kirk
www.ustr.gov

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Ambassador Susan Rice
www.usunnewyork.usmission.gov

Council of Economic Advisers
Chairman Austan Goolsbee
www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cea

The Legislative Branch

Established by Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together form the United States Congress. The Constitution grants Congress the sole authority to enact legislation and declare war, the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments, and substantial investigative powers.

United States Congress

House of Representatives

Speaker of the House
John Boehner (R-Ohio)
www.speaker.house.gov

Majority Leader
Eric Cantor (R-Va.)
www.majorityleader.gov

Democratic Leader
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
www.democraticleader.gov

Majority Whip
Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
www.majoritywhip.gov

Democratic Whip
Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)
www.democraticwhip.gov

Senate

Majority Leader
Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
www.reid.senate.gov

Minority Leader
Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
www.mcconnell.senate.gov

Majority Whip
Richard Durbin (D-Ill.)
www.durbin.senate.gov

Minority Whip
Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)
www.kyl.senate.gov

Federal Agencies and Commissions

There are hundreds of federal agencies and commissions charged with handling such responsibilities as managing America's space program, protecting its forests, and gathering intelligence. For a full listing of federal agencies, departments, and commissions, visit www.USA.gov.

Congressional Committees

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are the key committees in Congress as far as federal and postal employee legislation is concerned.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5074
http://oversight.house.gov

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
340 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2627
http://hsgac.senate.gov

The House and Senate Appropriations and Budget committees are also important to government workers because they control the purse strings of the various governmental departments and agencies and hence the number of civilian jobs, promotion opportunities, and other employment factors dependent on the amount of money that an agency gets each year from Congress.

House Appropriations Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
H-307, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-2771
http://appropriations.house.gov

House Budget Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
207 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 226-7270
http://budget.house.gov

Senate Appropriations Committee
Room S 128, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-7363
http://appropriations.senate.gov

Senate Budget Committee
624 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-0642
http://budget.senate.gov

The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee are vital for government workers because they handle all Social Security legislation.

House Ways and Means Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3625
http://waysandmeans.house.gov

Senate Finance Committee
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6200
Phone: (202) 224-4515
http://finance.senate.gov

Members of Congress and Congressional Committees may be contacted by the following means:

By E-mail-- All questions and comments regarding public policy issues, legislation, or requests for personal assistance should be directed to your state representatives. Some representatives have e-mail addresses while others post comment forms on their Web sites. You can find your state representatives' individual Web pages at either www.house.gov or www.senate.gov. When sending e-mail, please include your return postal mailing address.

By Postal Mail-- You can direct postal correspondence to offices at the following address:

For correspondence to U.S. Representatives:

Office of Representative (Name)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

For correspondence to U.S. Senators:

Office of Senator (Name)
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

For correspondence to Congressional Committees:

(Name of Committee)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

For correspondence to Senate Committees:

(Name of Committee)
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

By Telephone-- Alternatively, you may phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the office you request.

Legislative Information

Information on bills and their status is available at http://thomas.loc.gov. The site also has information about current activity in Congress, committee reports, historic information, and links to other resources.

Via a recorded message at (202) 456-2226, the Office of the Executive Clerk at the White House provides information on presidential signings or vetoes of legislation and other actions. If the desired information is not in the taped message, callers can stay on the line to speak with a person.

How to Get Government Accountability Office Reports

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative and auditing branch of the Congress, issues reports on government personnel policies and practices and on employee benefits and entitlements, among other topics. We cover highlights of these in our weekly newsletter Federal Employees News Digest.

Publicly released GAO publications are available free at www.gao.gov. To order print copies visit www.gao.gov/ordering.htm or call (866) 801-7077. Copies vary in price and can be paid for with major credit cards.

How to Get the Federal Register

The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.

The Federal Register is available free at www.federalregister.gov. Print subscriptions are available for $929 for one year. Single copies vary in price. To order, visit http://bookstore.gpo.gov or call (866) 512-1800; fax (202) 512-2104. Orders require prepayment by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit cards; check; or Superintendent of Documents deposit account.

How to Get the Congressional Record

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, including daily floor and committee activities.

The Congressional Record is available free at http://thomas.loc.gov. Print subscriptions are available for $503 for one year. Single copies vary in price. To order, visit http://bookstore.gpo.gov or call (866) 512-1800; fax (202) 512-2104. Orders require prepayment by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit cards; check; or Superintendent of Documents deposit account.

How to Get MSPB, FLRA, FSIP, and EEOC Decisions

Merit Systems Protection Board decisions, case reports, and studies are available free at www.mspb.gov.

Federal Labor Relations Authority decisions are available free at www.flra.gov. Print subscriptions are available for $453 a year. To order, visit http://bookstore.gpo.gov or call (866) 512-1800; fax (202) 512-2104. All orders require prepayment by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit cards, check, or Superintendent of Documents deposit account.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decisions are available free at www.eeoc.gov/federal/decisions.cfm. Several private publishing companies republish and index EEOC decisions.

How to Research the U.S. Code and the Code of Federal Regulations

The U.S. Code is searchable at http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml.

The Code of Federal Regulations is searchable at www.gpo.gov/fdsys.

Agency libraries, general counsel offices, law libraries, or large general-purpose libraries may have copies of print versions.

Federal Citizen Information Center

The Federal Citizen Information Center at www.usa.gov is a source of information and help for questions or problems related to the government, including veterans’ benefits, Social Security and Medicare, along with some information specific to federal employment. USA.gov provides e-mail and online chat access to customer service representatives and is available by phone at (800) 333-4636.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above
Subscribe Now!

Thursday Trivia