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Executive Branch Information

The executive branch of the Government is responsible for enforcing the laws of the land. The Executive Branch is made up of the President, his Cabinet of advisors, and numerous executive agencies.

White House and the President
White House web site provides access to the oral and written communications from the President.

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is published every Monday and is the official publication of presidential statements, messages, remarks, and other materials released by the White House Press Secretary. Online coverage is available from 1993 to the present.

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period.

Budget of the U.S. Government is issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the Budget of the United States Government is a collection of documents that contains the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications that have been issued throughout the fiscal year.

Economic Report of the President is an annual report written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. It overviews the nation's economic progress using text and extensive data appendices.

President's Cabinet dates back to the beginnings of the Presidency itself. One of the principal purposes of the Cabinet (drawn from Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution) is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Executive Agencies
Below is a listing of the the Cabinet level executive agencies of the US Federal government. Descriptions for these executive agencies was taken from the 2004-2005 United States Government Manual.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to improve and maintain farm income and to develop and expand markets abroad for agricultural products. The Department helps to curb and to cure poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. It works to enhance the environment and to maintain production capacity by helping landowners protect the soil, water, forests, and other natural resources. Rural development, credit, and conservation programs are key resources for carrying out national growth policies. Department research findings directly or indirectly benefit all Americans. The Department, through inspection and grading services, safeguards and ensures standards of quality in the daily food supply.

Department of Commerce (DOC) encourages, serves, and promotes the Nation's international trade, economic growth, and technological advancement. The Department provides a wide variety of programs through the competitive free enterprise system. It offers assistance and information to increase America's competitiveness in the world economy; administers programs to prevent unfair foreign trade competition; provides social and economic statistics and analyses for business and government planners; provides research and support for the increased use of scientific, engineering, and technological development; works to improve our understanding and benefits of the Earth's physical environment and oceanic resources; grants patents and registers trademarks; develops policies and conducts research on telecommunications; provides assistance to promote domestic economic development; and assists in the growth of minority businesses.

Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for providing the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of our country. Under the President, who is also Commander in Chief, the Secretary of Defense exercises authority, direction, and control over the Department, which includes the separately organized military departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff providing military advice, the combatant commands, and defense agencies and field activities established for specific purposes.

Department of Education (ED) establishes policy for, administers, and coordinates most Federal assistance to education. Its mission is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the Nation.

Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for a secure and reliable energy system that is environmentally and economically sustainable; to be a responsible steward of the Nation's nuclear weapons; to clean up the Department's facilities; to lead in the physical sciences and advance the biological, environmental, and computational sciences; and to provide premier scientific instruments for the Nation's research enterprise.

Department of Health and Human Services(HHS) is the Cabinet-level department of the Federal executive branch most involved with the Nation's human concerns. In one way or another, it touches the lives of more Americans than any other Federal agency. It is a department of people serving people, from newborn infants to persons requiring health services to our most elderly citizens.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) protects the Nation against terrorist attacks. The Department is dedicated to achieving this goal while allowing for the free flow of people, goods, and commerce across our borders and through our airports and seaports. Component agencies will analyze threats and intelligence, guard our borders and airports, protect our critical infrastructure, and coordinate the response of our Nation for future emergencies. Besides providing a better coordinated defense of the homeland, the Department is also dedicated to protecting the rights of American citizens and enhancing public services, such as natural disaster assistance and citizenship services, by dedicating offices to these important missions.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the principal Federal agency responsible for programs concerned with the Nation's housing needs, fair housing opportunities, and improvement and development of the Nation's communities.

Department of the Interior (DOI) protects and provides access to our Nation's natural and cultural heritage and honor our trust responsibilities to tribes and our commitments to island communities. The Department manages the Nation's public lands and minerals, national parks, national wildlife refuges, and western water resources and upholds Federal trust responsibilities to Indian tribes and our commitments to island communities. It is responsible for migratory wildlife conservation; historic preservation; endangered species; surface-mined lands protection and restoration; mapping; geological, hydrological, and biological science; and financial and technical assistance for the insular areas.

Department of Justice (DOJ) serves as counsel for its citizens. It represents them in enforcing the law in the public interest. Through its thousands of lawyers, investigators, and agents, the Department plays the key role in protection against criminals and subversion, ensuring healthy business competition, safeguarding the consumer, and enforcing drug, immigration, and naturalization laws.

Department of Labor (DOL) promotes and develops the welfare of the wage earners of the United States, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment. In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws guaranteeing workers' rights to safe and healthful working conditions, a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay, freedom from employment discrimination, unemployment insurance, and workers' compensation. The Department also protects workers' pension rights; provides for job training programs; helps workers find jobs; works to strengthen free collective bargaining; and keeps track of changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements. As the Department seeks to assist all Americans who need and want to work, special efforts are made to meet the unique job market problems of older workers, youths, minority group members, women, the handicapped, and other groups.

Department of State (DOS) advises the President in the formulation and execution of foreign policy and promotes the long-range security and well-being of the United States. The Department determines and analyzes the facts relating to American overseas interests, makes recommendations on policy and future action, and takes the necessary steps to carry out established policy. In so doing, the Department engages in continuous consultations with the American public, the Congress, other U.S. departments and agencies, and foreign governments; negotiates treaties and agreements with foreign nations; speaks for the United States in the United Nations and other international organizations in which the United States participates; and represents the United States at international conferences.

Department of Transportation (DOT) establishes the Nation's overall transportation policy. Under its umbrella are 11 administrations whose jurisdictions include highway planning, development, and construction; motor carrier safety; urban mass transit; railroads; aviation; and the safety of waterways, ports, highways, and oil and gas pipelines. Decisions made by the Department in conjunction with the appropriate State and local officials strongly affect other programs such as land planning, energy conservation, scarce resource utilization, and technological change.

Department of the Treasury performs four basic functions: formulating and recommending economic, financial, tax, and fiscal policies; serving as financial agent for the U.S. Government; enforcing the law; and manufacturing coins and currency.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates programs to benefit veterans and members of their families. Benefits include compensation payments for disabilities or death related to military service; pensions; education and rehabilitation; home loan guaranty; burial; and a medical care program incorporating nursing homes, clinics, and medical centers. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was established as an executive department by the Department of Veterans Affairs Act (38 U.S.C. 201 note). It is comprised of three organizations that administer veterans programs: the Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration, and the National Cemetery Administration. Each organization has field facilities and a central office component.

Directories of Federal Agencies
Use the two web sites below to explore the complete range of executive and independent agencies and commissions.

  • U.S. Federal Government Agencies Directory. (Louisiana State University). This comprehensive listing of Federal agencies and commissions is updated regularly. It allows you to view the agencies alphabetically and hierarchically.
  • Federal Agencies and Commissions (US Federal Government). This site lists all of the Federal Agencies and Commissions outside of the traditional executive level agencies.
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