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The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United Statesmarker federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue. The Department is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, who is a member of the Cabinet.

The first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, who was sworn into office on September 11, 1789. Hamilton was asked by President George Washington 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. His portrait is on the obverse of the U.S. ten-dollar bill and the Treasury Department building is shown on the reverse.

Besides the Secretary, one of the best-known Treasury officials is the Treasurer of the United States, who receives and keeps the money of the United States. Facsimile signatures of the Secretary and the Treasurer appear on all modern United States currency.

The Department prints and mints all paper currency and coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint. The Department also collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service, and manages U.S. government debt instruments.

History



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 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.


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

Responsibilities

Treasury Department official, surrounded by packages of newly minted currency, counting and wrapping dollar bills.
Washington, D.C., 1907.
The U.S.
Treasury, Washington D.C.
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 Fundmarker.

Organization



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 (1789–1817), First Comptroller of the Treasury (1817–20), Agent of the Treasury (1820–30), and 1830–1934.

2003 Reorganization

Congress transferred several agencies that had previously been under the aegis of the Treasury department to other departments as a consequence of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Effective January 24, 2003, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), which had been a bureau of the Department since 1972, was extensively reorganized under the provisions of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The law enforcement functions of ATF, including the regulation of legitimate traffic in firearms and explosives, were transferred to the Department of Justicemarker as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The regulatory and tax collection functions of ATF related to legitimate traffic in alcohol and tobacco remained with the Treasury at its new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

Effective March 1, 2003, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centermarker, the United States Customs Service, and the United States Secret Service were transferred to the newly-created Department of Homeland Security marker. On March 14, 2003, the United States Coast Guard also became a part of DHS.

See also



References

  1. US Treasury website History of the Treasurer's Office
  2. US Treasury website: Treasurers of the United States.
  3. U.S. Treasury - Fact Sheet on the Act of Congress Establishing the Treasury Department


External links




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