General Government Information

Chapter 13: Section 1

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 departments and independent federal agencies are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and administration of federal laws.

For federal employees and retirees, a key agency is the Office of Personnel Management. See Chapter 10, Section 1 for a description of OPM’s responsibilities and see the pertinent sections elsewhere in this book for specific Web sites and phone numbers of various functions. OPM’s main site is and its main number is (202) 606-1800.

Information about OPM’s organizational structure and a listing of senior officials is at

A full listing of federal agencies, departments, and commissions is at

President of the United States
Donald J. Trump

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 executive departments; the heads of certain independent agencies and certain other top officials have Cabinet rank.

Vice President of the United States
Mike Pence

Department of State
Secretary Mike Pompeo

Department of the Treasury
Secretary Steve Mnuchin

Department of Defense
Secretary Mark Esper

Department of Justice Attorney Gen. William Barr

Department of the Interior
Acting Secretary David Bernhardt

Department of Agriculture
Secretary Sonny Perdue

Department of Commerce
Secretary Wilbur Ross

Department of Labor
Secretary Eugene Scalia

Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary Alex Azar II

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Ben Carson

Department of Transportation
Secretary Elaine Chao

Department of Energy
Secretary Don Brouillette

Department of Education
Secretary Betsy DeVos

Department of Veterans Affairs
Secretary Robert Wilkie

Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Chad Wolf

The following positions have the status of Cabinet rank:

White House Chief of Staff
Mick Mulvaney, Acting

Environmental Protection Agency
Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler

Office of Management and Budget
Acting Director Russell Vought

U.S. Trade Representative
Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Ambassador Kelly Craft

Small Business Administration
Administrator Chris Pilkerton

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. (Note: The leaders listed below were current as of the start of calendar year 2019.)

Congressional Leaders

Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

Majority Leader
Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

House Republican Leader
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Minority Leader
Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Congressional Committees

The House Oversight and 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.

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

House Oversight and Reform Committee
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5074

House Appropriations Committee
H-305, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-2771

House Budget Committee
B234 Longworth Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 226-7270

House Ways and Means Committee
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3625

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
340 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4751

Senate Appropriations Committee
Room S 128, The Capito
Washington, DC 20510
Phone; (202) 224-7257

Senate Budget Committee
624 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-0642

Senate Finance Committee
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6200
Phone: (202) 224-4515

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

Online—Web pages of members of the House and of House committees, including email addresses and social media connections, are at and those of the Senate are at

By Phone—All offices can be reached through the Capitol switchboard, (202) 224-3121.

By Postal Mail—Direct postal correspondence to:

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 House 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

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