Discuss how the president and Congress interact with the bureaucracy.

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The “bureaucracy,” in the context of a discussion of the federal government, refers to the permanent, usually civil service, employees who collectively staff each department of the federal government and who remain in their jobs irrespective of the occupant of the White House. Civil service employees are government employees, and they are to a large extent protected from retributive actions on the part of the political appointees, who come and go with changes in the White House and who do not enjoy civil service protections. Civil service employees are the “bureaucracy.” They run the government on a day-to-day basis, provide institutional knowledge and memory, and carry out the responsibilities of the offices within the departments in which they work. Compelling compliance on their part with the policies of a newly inaugurated presidential administration can be exceedingly frustrating for the president and for the legislative branch, Congress.

Federal agencies fall under the...

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