The United States Department of Treasury is a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government. It is responsible for the following: 

  • Printing and minting all paper currency and coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint.
  • Managing federal finances.
  • Paying all U.S. bills.
  • Collecting taxes and monies paid to and due to the U.S.
  • Overseeing national banks.
  • Enforcing tax and finance laws on a federal level.
  • Handling government accounts and U.S. public debt.
  • Making recommendations regarding domestic and international financial, monetary, economic, trade and tax policy.
  • Investigating and prosecuting tax evaders.
  • Publishing statistical reports.

All facts and figures are current as of November 24, 2017.

Duties of the Secretary of the Treasury

The President of the United States looks to the Secretary of Treasury as a principal advisor on issues regarding the economy. The Secretary makes recommendations about domestic and global economic and tax policy. He or she plays a very important part in creating strategies that affect economic and government financial outlooks for issues the government faces. 

The Treasury Secretary also takes part in formulating broad fiscal policies that significantly impact the economy, and manages the public debt.  The Secretary also serves as the financial representative for the United States government. This person is also responsible for overseeing the manufacturing of U.S. coins and currency, and managing the amount of cash that is available to markets.

It should be noted that the Secretary of the Treasury has some responsibility for the credit rating of the Unites States. If the U.S. mismanages money or defaults on debt, the entire economy can be hurt. For that reason, the Treasury Secretary may take on additional duties not specifically laid out in the job description.

How Does a Person Become Secretary of Treasury?

The Secretary of the Treasury is chosen by the President of the United States. The candidate must then face U.S. Senate hearings and get a majority vote approval before being sworn in. 

What Past Experience Does the Secretary Have?

The experience a candidate for Treasury Secretary has is typically in the arena of economics, law, business, education, the military or in a previous government post. The President is granted the ability to choose a candidate from any walk of American life.

The only rule, as stated in the United States Constitution, is that the President not nominate any member of the House as the candidate. No member of Congress is permitted to hold a Cabinet position while simultaneously holding a post in the House. Any House member nominated would have to resign in order to assume the office of the Secretary of the Treasury.

How Much Does a Secretary of Treasury Make?

The Secretary of Treasury makes an annual income of $199,500.  The General Fund of the Treasury pays his or her salary. 

How Long Does a Secretary Tend to Stay in Office?

The amount of time a Secretary of the Treasury has in his or her post is incumbent upon the President’s discretion. The President may dismiss the Secretary at will and replace him or her at any time. Traditionally, the Secretary resigns once the President’s term is over.  

Many Americans are not aware what the Treasury Department does and how important it is that the Secretary of the Treasury be very effective in overseeing the department. The strategies and actions that the Treasury Secretary makes with regard to the U.S. economy have an immense long-term influence on the economy.

Fiscal policy is heavily influenced by the Secretary of the Treasury, and the President is most often willing to listen to policy input from this person. (See also: The Treasury And The Federal Reserve.)