Discuss the evolution of the cabinet departments over time. What are the major functions of the cabinet secretaries?
Since the beginning of the Presidency, and the United States, the cabinet, in terms of numbers, has grown a great deal. Several cabinet departments have been created over the years, the most recent being the Department of Homeland Security, and impact of cabinet secretaries has continually become of more presence within the federal bureaucracy, and less of an impact onn the decision-making of the President. The cabinet has grown such that there exists a sort of inner and outer cabinet in terms of closeness to the President himself. Departments of State, Treasury, Defense, and the Attorney General all have close, advisory roles with the President, while the outer positions, such as Secretaries of Agriculture, Labor, or Education, hold a role of advocacy so to speak. This is to say that outer cabinet members are representative of certain groups of people in the country.
The cabinet of earlier years saw that its secretaries were crucial to the advisement of the President. However, many Presidents now find the size of the cabinet to be too big to work properly as an advisory body. This has reduced cabinet secretaries to controlling their own departments and generally reporting back to the President when needed. The most integral role of the cabinet secretaries is found in the way that they affect policy in the United States.