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The National Security Council (NSC) includes the President, the vice-president, secretary of state, secretary of defense and Director of the Office of Emergency Planning, as its statutory members. The President can appoint secretaries and under-secretaries of other executive departments and the military, as additional members of the council. Council meetings are also attended by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in an advisory capacity. There is a staff of professional, administrative and secretarial personnel, who work under the direction of the special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. The National Security Council has to advise the President about the formulation and integration of domestic, foreign and military policies that affect national security. In brief, it acts as a "security cabinet" to the President.

The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) is composed of three members. It studies national economic trends and advises the President on economic policy. It also helps in preparing the President’s reports on economic conditions that he has to present before the Congress.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was originally established as the Bureau of the Budget by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. General budgetary guidance is given to each department and agency that prepares its own budget. On the basis of these estimates, as well as after hearings and consultations with the agencies, the office formulates the budget. However the President is still in charge of making all major policy decisions. Apart from the complicated job of preparing the federal budget, the office has other important duties. It helps the President’s staff to improve the management and organization of the executive branch, to clear legislative proposals coming from federal agencies and also to coordinate and improve statistical activities of the government. It has considerable powers and is also in charge of assessing how federal agencies use their budgetary allocations.


The Cabinet is purely an advisory body, since executive power is vested in the President. In 1789, George Washington created 3 departments, state, Treasury, and war, and the office of Attorney general. A cabinet made up of the heads of the principal departments soon became an established American institution. The heads of each of the executive departments bear the title of ’secretary’ except in the department of Justice, the official is called Attorney General. At present, the Cabinet includes the secretaries of the departments of justice, state, Treasury, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Defense, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban development, Transportation, Energy, Education, and veteran Affairs. The US ambassador to the United Nations, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and other officials also participate in the Cabinet meetings.

However some Presidents have even relied upon the advice of people outside the cabinet. Thus cabinet meetings were discontinued by Andrew Jackson who relied on the advice of a group of men called the "kitchen cabinet" by the public. Further Harry Hopkins, Franklin Roosevelt’s chief adviser, was not a cabinet member.

Exhibit 4.2
The White House

While the positions in the White House are determined by personal relationship with the president, the cabinet nominations based on reputation, expertise and the capability to handle a huge bureaucracy. Ethnic and racial minorities and women are also appointed to these posts so that they represent a broad cross-section of the country.

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Index

4.0 Introduction
4.1 The Powers of the President
4.2 The Functions of the President
4.3 The Organization of the Executive Branch
4.4 The Vice President and Presidential Succession

Chapter 5





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