President Obama’s 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 — 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, as well as the Attorney General.
The 15 Secretaries from the executive departments are appointed by the President, and they must be confirmed by a majority vote (51 votes) of the Senate. They cannot be a member of Congress or hold any other elected office. Cabinet appointments are for the duration of the administration, but the President may dismiss any member at any time, without approval of the Senate. In addition, they are expected to resign when a new President takes office.
Over the next few days President Obama will be nominating his choices to fill the vacancies for his 2013-2016 Cabinet.
In order of succession to the Presidency:
Vice President of the United States
Joseph R. Biden
The following positions have the status of Cabinet-rank:
White House Chief of Staff
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
John O. Brennan
* Acting Directors
For All WH Nominations & Appointments: http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/nominations-and-appointments
“As Jonathan Cohn pointed out in The New Republic, filibusters of presidential agency nominations were once very rare, happening only two times each to Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton had nine nominations blocked, and George W. Bush had seven. Obama is “already up to 16 blocks,” Cohn noted.”