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The Cabinet of the United States is a body consisting of the vice president of the United States and the heads of the executive branch's departments in the federal government of the United States. It is the principal official advisory body to the president of the United States. The president chairs the meetings but is not formally a member of the Cabinet. The heads of departments, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, are members of the Cabinet, and acting department heads also participate in Cabinet meetings whether or not they have been officially nominated for Senate confirmation. The president may designate heads of other agencies and non-Senate-confirmed members of the Executive Office of the President as members of the Cabinet.
|Formation||March 4, 1789|
(234 years ago) (1789-03-04)
|Legal status||Inferred (Opinion Clause)|
|Purpose||Advisory body to the president of the United States|
|25 members (not counting the VP):|
|This article is part of a series on the|
|Politics of the |
The Cabinet does not have any collective executive powers or functions of its own, and no votes need to be taken. There are 25 members (26 including the vice president): 15 department heads and 10 Cabinet-level members, all of whom, except two, require Senate confirmation. The Cabinet meets with the president in a room adjacent to the Oval Office. The members sit in the order in which their respective department was created, with the earliest being closest to the president and the newest farthest away.
The members of the Cabinet serve at the pleasure of the president, who can dismiss them at any time without the approval of the Senate, as affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Myers v. United States (1926) or downgrade their Cabinet membership status. Often it is legally possible for a Cabinet member to exercise certain powers over his or her own department against the president's wishes, but in practice this is highly unusual due to the threat of dismissal. The president also has the authority to organize the Cabinet, such as instituting committees. Like all federal public officials, Cabinet members are also subject to impeachment by the House of Representatives and trial in the Senate for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors".
The Constitution of the United States does not explicitly establish a Cabinet. The Cabinet's role, inferred from the language of the Opinion Clause (Article II, Section 2, Clause 1) of the Constitution is to provide advice to the president. Additionally, the Twenty-fifth Amendment authorizes the vice president, together with a majority of the heads of the executive departments, to declare the president "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office". The heads of the executive departments are—if eligible—in the presidential line of succession.
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