There are 3 Branches of the U.S. Government; they are: 
  1. Legislative
  2. Judicial
  3. Executive


1) Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch (aka Congress) consists of 2 chambers: the U.S. Senate with 100 Senators (2 per State) and the U.S. House of Representatives (based on population) --- by law, there are 435 representatives in the House of Representatives --- based on each State's population as a % of the U.S. Population.


The Legislative Branch is responsible for creating laws. 


The Constitution does not (in the House of Representatives) allow representation of the District of Columbia or the Territories. Washington D.C. and the Territories of Puerto RicoAmerican SamoaGuam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are represented by one non-voting delegate. Puerto Rico elects a resident commissionerother than having a 4-year term, the resident commissioner's role is identical to delegates from other Territories. The 4 delegates and resident commissioner may participate in debates. 



2) Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch consists of 107 courts known as the Federal Court System. They are responsible for ruling on cases that come to them from lower courts in respect to the validity of relevant laws that the U.S. Congress has passed, as well as the U.S. Constitution and all pertinent earlier court findings. 

The 3 levels of the Federal Court System are:

1.   Supreme Court

2.   Appeals Courts

3.   District Courts


The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court --- this is the only court specifically referenced in the Constitution (Article III, Section 1); and in such inferior courts as the Congress ... shall establish. The number of judges on the Supreme Court is not stated in the Constitution --- however currently there are 9 Federal Judges on the Supreme Court.


"The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." Those inferior courts are:

  • The 2nd Level of inferior courts is known as the Appeals Courts (there are 12 Regional Appeals Courts) aka Court of Appeals aka Circuit Courts. 
  • The 3rd Level of inferior courts is known as the District Courts (there are 94 District Courts) aka District Judicial Courts. This is the lowest level of the Federal Courts and are the original jurisdiction for most cases. They cover all 50 States and Territories.                                                



3) Executive Branch

The Executive Branch is headed by the U.S. President and consists of various other positions that go with the Executive Branch. The lack of specific, detailed language in the U.S. Constitution on such things as "Executive Orders", "Commander in Chief" and the "Pardon" powers, has given the President of the U.S. (POTUS) a great deal of nebulous power and flexibility. 

Today, the Executive Branch consists of over million staff; other than the Vice President, all the rest of them are appointed or hired --- many require U.S. Senate confirmation. 


President Biden's Cabinet, top 15 picks plus other key roles, for his Executive Office follow. [Biden’s Cabinet members are listed in their order in the line of succession to the Presidency after 1) Vice President, 2) Speaker of the House and 3) President Pro Tem of the Senate.


 1)  Dept of State … Secretary of State - Antony "Tony" Blinken 


 2)  Dept of the Treasury … Secretary of the Treasury - Janet Yellen 


 3)  Dept of Defense … Secretary of Defense - Lloyd J. Austin III


 4)  Dept of Justice … Attorney General - Merrick Garland 


 5)  Dept of the Interior … Secretary of the Interior - Deb Haaland


 6)  Dept of Agriculture … Secretary of Agriculture - Tom Vilsack


 7)  Dept of Commerce … Commerce Secretary - Gina Raimondo


 8)  Dept of Labor … Labor Secretary - Marty Walsh


 9)  Dept of Health & Human Services (HHS) … HHS Secretary - Xavier Becerra


10) Dept of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) … HUD Secretary - Marcia Fudge


11) Dept of Transportation … Secretary of Transportation - Pete Buttigieg


12) Dept of Energy … Secretary of Energy - Jennifer Granholm


13) Dept of Education … Secretary of Education - Miquel Cardona


14) Dept of Veterans Affairs … VA Secretary - Denis McDonough


15) Dept of Homeland Security … Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas



                          Deputy Secretaries

·        Deputy Secretary of State … Wendy Sherman

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of the Treasury … Wally Adeyemo 

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of Defense … Kathleen Hicks  

·        Deputy Attorney General, Dept of Justice … Lisa Monaco 

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of Interior … Tommy Beaudreau

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of Agriculture … Jewel H. Bronaugh

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of Commerce … Don Graves

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of Labor … Julie Su 

·        Deputy Secretary, HHS ... Andrea Palm

·        Deputy Secretary for HUD ... Adrianne Todman

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of Transportation … Polly Trottenberg  

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of Energy … David Turk

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of Education … Cindy Marten    

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of VA … Donald Remy 

·        Deputy Secretary, Dept of Homeland Security … John Tien



 Key White House Staff (No Confirmation needed) 


o   White House Chief of Staff … Jeff Zients

o   White House Deputy Chief of Staff … Natalie Quillian

o   White House Press Secretary … Karine Jean-Pierre

o   White House Communications Director … Ben LaBolt

o   White House Climate Czar … Gina McCarthy

o   White House Senior Advisor to COVID-19 Response Team … Dr. Ashish Jha

o   White House Senior Advisor to the President ... Neera Tanden

o   Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Director … Dr. Rochelle Walensky

o   National Security Adviser … Jake Sullivan

o   U.S. State Dept Spokesman ... Ned Price

o   National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications ... John Kirby

o   Special Presidential Envoy for Climate … John Kerry

o   Director, Domestic Policy Council … Director Susan Rice

o   Director, Office of Management & Budget (OMB) – OMB Director Shalanda Young   

o   Director, National Economic Council - Director Brian Deese 

o   Director, Office of Public Engagement … Director Cedric Richmond



                  Other Key Staff (Top Positions)

·       Director, Office of National Intelligence (DNI) ... DNI Director Avril Haines  

·       Director, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) ... CIA Director William Burns 

·       Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ... FBI Director Christopher "Chris" Wray  

·       Director, Secret Service ... Secret Service Director Kim Cheatle

·       Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) … FEMA Director Deanne Criswell  

·       Director, Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) … ATF Director Steven Dettelbach

·       Director, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) … OPM Director Kiran Arjandas Ahujavid 

·       Director, Food & Drug Administration (FDA) … FDA Director Robert Califf 

·       Director of National Counterterrorism Center ... Director Christy Abizaid 

·       Director, U.S. Marshals Service, Dept of Justice … Director Ronald Davis 

·       Deputy Director of the FBI … Paul Abbate  

·       Associate Attorney General, Dept of Justice … Vanita Gupta 

·       Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Dept of Justice … Kristen Clarke

·       Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development ... Samantha Power

·       Administrator, Small Business Administration (SBA) ... SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman 

·       Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ... EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan 

·       Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) ... DEA Administrator Anne Milgram  

·       Administrator, Federal Transit Administration for Dept of Transportation ... Administrator Nuria Fernandez 

·       Chairman, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) … SEC Chairman Gary Gensler 

·       Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality … Brenda Mallory 

·       Surgeon General, HHS ... Vivek Murthy 

·       U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Dept of State ... Linda Thomas-Greenfield 

·       U.S. Trade Representative ... Katherine Tai 

·       White House Office of Science & Technology Policy ... Eric Lander 

·       National Cyber Director, Executive Officer of the President ... Director Chris Inglis