The Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Defense are generally regarded as the four most important cabinet officials because of the importance of their departments. The Secretary of the Treasury is a non-statutory member of the U.S. National Security Council and fifth in the United States presidential line of succession.
The Secretary of the Treasury is the principal economic advisor to the President and plays a critical role in policy-making by bringing an economic and government financial policy perspective to issues facing the government. The Secretary 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 Department in carrying out its major law enforcement responsibilities; in serving as the financial agent for the United States Government; and in manufacturing coins and currency. The Chief Financial Officer of the government, the Secretary serves as Chairman Pro Tempore of the President's Economic Policy Council, Chairman of the Boards and Managing Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, and 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, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The Secretary along with the Treasurer of the United States must sign Federal Reserve notes before they can become legal tender. The Secretary also manages the United States Emergency Economic Stabilization fund.
Most of the Department's law enforcement agencies such as the U.S. Customs Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Secret Service were reassigned to other departments in 2003 in conjunction with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
The salary of the Secretary of the Treasury is $205,700 annually.