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| | |-+  How do you Abolish a Cabinet Department?
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Author Topic: How do you Abolish a Cabinet Department?  (Read 1413 times)
retromike22
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« on: August 15, 2012, 07:49:07 pm »
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I've heard talk of several politicians who want to do this, mostly Republicans, but also that Obama wants to get rid of the Department of Commerce.

Who has the authority to do that? Is it just the President's power, or does Congress have to approve it? Or both?

Also, does Congress have to approve the creation of a new Cabinet Department?
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 08:39:57 pm »
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I've heard talk of several politicians who want to do this, mostly Republicans, but also that Obama wants to get rid of the Department of Commerce.

Who has the authority to do that? Is it just the President's power, or does Congress have to approve it? Or both?

Also, does Congress have to approve the creation of a new Cabinet Department?

Well, the Department of Defense was created by National Security Act of 1947, so yes.
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Ernest
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 09:29:13 pm »

It takes an Act of Congress to create or abolish a department or agency, or to transfer responsibility from one department to another.  Note that from time to time Congress had granted the President authority to enact reorganization plans to move or consolidate functions from one agency to another, but it has been decades since the Congress has let the President do so.  Mainly that is because of INS v. Chadha which in 1983 found the legislative veto to be unconstitutional, and the reorganization authority which had been granted made use of it.  Congress has generally been unwilling to give the executive branch carte blache to reorganize itself.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 09:37:38 pm by True Federalist »Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 10:59:06 am »
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Also, the correct wording of this question would be 'how would one go about abolishing a federal agency?'
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 11:22:37 pm »
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Acts of Congress suffice, but it's not possible to entirely get rid of the Cabinet if for some stupid reason anybody would want to, since the 25th Amendment assumes its existence.
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Ernest
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 12:23:33 am »

Acts of Congress suffice, but it's not possible to entirely get rid of the Cabinet if for some stupid reason anybody would want to, since the 25th Amendment assumes its existence.

Not really.  First off the 25th doesn't call it the Cabinet, and second of all what it does say is:

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the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide,

So for example, if the Congress wanted the Supreme Court or the Joint Chiefs of Staff to vet the Vice President's determination that the President is incapable of performing his duties, it could.

There is one weakness in the 25th.  What if there is no Vice President to trigger the inability section?  At that point, things revert back to the original Article II Section 1 Clause 6 muddle.
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Nathan
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 01:22:50 am »
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Acts of Congress suffice, but it's not possible to entirely get rid of the Cabinet if for some stupid reason anybody would want to, since the 25th Amendment assumes its existence.

Not really.  First off the 25th doesn't call it the Cabinet, and second of all what it does say is:

Quote
the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide,

So for example, if the Congress wanted the Supreme Court or the Joint Chiefs of Staff to vet the Vice President's determination that the President is incapable of performing his duties, it could.

There is one weakness in the 25th.  What if there is no Vice President to trigger the inability section?  At that point, things revert back to the original Article II Section 1 Clause 6 muddle.


Right, thank you for setting me straight. It's been a while since I've read the relevant text...
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2012, 08:12:04 am »
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It may be better to rely on legislation, than the British habit of the Prime Minister renaming and rearranging departments during cabinet reshuffles. It sometimes seems changes are just made to meet some immediate (and probably transient) political need, with no real thought to the long term administrative logic of the new arrangements. There is something to be said for the greater difficulty in making changes found in the US system.

The reason why changes can be made so easily in the UK system is that most, non financial, areas of government, are entrusted to the Secretary of State. This is, in theory, a single office with multiple holders. Although it has been customary, for several centuries, to assign particular functions to individual Secretaries of State these can be reallocated with no great formality.

Typically legislation on Ministers of the Crown prescribes the maximum number of paid ministers of a particular kind, but not the particular function of each.

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