Who is the current Secretary of the Treasury, what is his background, and what does he do?
The current Secretary of the Treasury is Jacob J. Lew. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 27, 2013.
The Secretary of the Treasury is responsible for formulating and recommending domestic and international financial, economic, and tax policy, participating in the formulation of broad fiscal policies that have general significance for the economy, and managing the public debt. The Secretary oversees the activities of the Treasury Department in carrying out his major law enforcement responsibilities; in serving as the financial agent for the U.S. Government; and in manufacturing coins and currency.
The chief financial officer of the Government, the Secretary of the Treasury serves on the President's National Economic Council. He is also Chairman of the Boards and Managing Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, Chairman of the Thrift Depositor Protection Oversight Board, and serves as U.S. Governor of the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
What is the Secretary's salary and how is it paid?
Currently, the Secretary of the Treasury earns $199,700 per year. His salary, and those of all Federal Government employees, are paid out of the General Fund of the Treasury.
Can you list all of the Secretaries, the Presidents they served under, and when they served?
Yes. Our office has an on-line list of all Treasury Secretaries beginning with Alexander Hamilton, and ending with Timothy F. Geithner, the current Secretary of the Treasury. It shows their dates of service and the Presidents for whom they served, and also contains links to biographical information.
How did the title of "Secretary" become associated with the head of Cabinet offices?
Surprisingly, there is very little information about this. We have inquired with the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Office of Protocol at the Department of State, none of which could provide any documentary evidence. However, our research did indicate that the term "Secretary," as in Secretary of the Treasury, was used along with those of President, Vice President, and Treasurer, apparently in an effort for the new nation to avoid the appearance of being a monarchy as in Great Britain. It is interesting to note, also, that corporations have adopted the same structure, having a President, Vice President(s), a Secretary, and a Treasurer as the primary officers.
What is the "Oath of Office" that is taken by the Secretary of the Treasury and other officials?
The oath of office is taken by the by all executive and judicial officers, as well as all Federal government employees. It reads as follows:
I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
What does the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury do?
The Deputy Secretary of the Treasury advises and assists the Secretary of the Treasury in the supervision and direction of the Department and its activities, and succeeds the Secretary in his absence, sickness, or unavailability. The Deputy Secretary plays a primary role in the formulation and execution of Treasury policies and programs in all aspects of the Department's activities.
What does the Treasurer of the United States do?
The office of Treasurer of the United States is the only Treasury office older than the Department itself. The Treasurer was originally charged with the receipt and custody of government funds, though many of these functions have been taken over by different Treasury Bureaus. Responsibility for oversight of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) and the United States Mint was assigned to the Treasurer in 1981. In 1994, the Treasurer was named National Honorary Director of the U.S. Savings Bonds Campaign.
Can you list of all the Treasurers, which Presidents they served under, and when they served?
Yes. Our office has a list of all Treasurers of the United States beginning with Michael Hillegas, who served starting in 1775. It shows their place of birth, dates of service, and the Presidents for whom they served.
Is there a way to find out about speeches, testimony and other official information?
The Secretary of the Treasury, the Deputy Secretary, the Treasurer of the United States, and many other Treasury officials make many speeches during the course of each year. They address public and business groups, and also testify before both Houses of Congress. You can read the text of these speeches in our Press Center, maintained by our Office of Public Affairs.