thrift institution

United States Department of the Treasury

The United States Department of the Treasury is a Cabinet department and the treasury of the United States government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue. The first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, President George Washington asking Hamilton to serve after first having asked Robert Morris (who declined, recommending Hamilton instead). Hamilton almost single-handedly worked out the nation's early financial system, and for several years was a major presence in Washington's administration as well. The Department is administered by the United States Secretary of the Treasury and the Treasurer of the United States, who receives and keeps the money of the United States. The Department prints and mints all paper currency and coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint. It also collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service.


The United States Department of the Treasury enforces all existing US Laws of a financial nature. These include:

  1. Recommends and implements the economic, fiscal, and currency policies of the President as approved by Congress.
  2. Oversees the established laws and regulation of exports and imports.
  3. Designs, prints, and mints all authorized mediums of exchange used by the US Government, including Currency, Coins, Stamps, and Bonds, as directed by the Federal Reserve.
  4. Oversees regulation of all financial institutions chartered by the United States, as approved by the President and Congress
  5. Collects all United States Revenue.

The United States Department of the Treasury does not create laws and regulations. The Department enforces the laws and regulations enacted by United States Congress.

The United States Secretary of the Treasury serves primarily in an administrative capacity, and also in an advisory role to the United States President.


The Office of the Treasurer is the only office in the Treasury Department that is older than the Department itself, as it was originally created by the Continental Congress in 1775. Michael Hillegas served as the first Treasurer of the United States and throughout the American Revolution until Congress created of The Department of the Treasury on September 2, 1789:

And be it...enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to digest and prepare plans for the improvement and management of the revenue, and for the support of public credit; to prepare and report estimates of the public revenue, and the public expenditures; to superintend the collection of revenue; to decide on the forms of keeping and stating accounts and making returns, and to grant under the limitations herein established, or to be hereafter provided, all warrants for monies to be issued from the Treasury, in pursuance of appropriations by law; to execute such services relative to the sale of the lands belonging to the United States, as may be by law required of him; to make report, and give information to either branch of the legislature, in person or in writing (as he may be required), respecting all matters referred to him by the Senate or House of Representatives, or which shall appertain to his office; and generally to perform all such services relative to the finances, as he shall be directed to perform.

Alexander Hamilton was sworn in as the first Secretary of the Treasury on September 11, 1789. His portrait is on the obverse of the U.S. ten dollar bill and the Treasury Department building is shown on the reverse.

The current law, , reads as follows (in part):

(a) The Department of the Treasury is an executive department of the United States Government at the seat of the Government.

(b) The head of the Department is the Secretary of the Treasury. The Secretary is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.


The basic functions of the Department of the Treasury include:

With respect to the estimation of revenues for the executive branch, Treasury serves a purpose parallel to that of the Office of Management and Budget for the estimation of spending for the executive branch, the Joint Committee on Taxation for the estimation of revenues for Congress, and the Congressional Budget Office for the estimation of spending for Congress.

The term Treasury reform usually refers narrowly to reform of monetary policy and related economic policy and accounting reform. The broader term monetary reform usually refers to reform of policy of institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.


United States Secretary of the Treasury

Effective January 24, 2003 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was no longer a Bureau of the Department of the Treasury. The law enforcement functions of ATF have been transferred to the Department of Justice. The tax and trade functions of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms remained with Treasury at the new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

On March 1, 2003 the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the United States Customs Service, and the United States Secret Service moved to the United States Department of Homeland Security.

four basic functions performed are: Formulating and recommending economic, financial, tax, and fiscal policies.

Under the Secretary's direct supervision are the departmental offices, which are responsible for management and policy formulation.

  • Domestic Finance
  • Economic Policy
  • General Counsel
  • Information and Technology Management
  • International Affairs
  • Management
  • Public Affairs
  • Tax Policy
  • Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI)
  • Treasurer of the United States

The Office of the General Counsel is charged with supervising all legal proceedings involving the collection of debts due the United States, establishing regulations to guide customs collectors, issuing distress warrants against delinquent revenue collectors or receivers of public money, examining Treasury officers' official bonds and related legal documents, serving as legal adviser to the department and administered lands acquired by the United States in payment for debts. This office was preceded by the offices of the Comptroller of the Treasury (1789–1817), First Comptroller of the Treasury (1817-20), Agent of the Treasury (1820-30) and Solicitor of the Treasury 1830–1934.



External links

"Enough Wise Men, The Story of Our Constitution" by Forrest McDonaldPublished by the Dominion of Canada and by Longmans Canada Limited, Toronto 1970

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