White House/Capitol Employees Post Election

How many current White House and Capitol building employees from highest to lowest level will get to keep their jobs after the election? Does everyone get let go so the new guy can put his people in place, or do some get to stick around?

Well, the President’s staff and the staff of the defeated congresspeople will need to dust off their resumes. The President will also probably appoint a new executive chef. But generally, the nonpolitical employees will stick around.

I’m pretty sure that anyone who is not involved in keeping the building running is out when their elected principal (President, Congressman) is voted out. The Secret Service staff stays (but I understand the new President has a different detail than the previous President). Military liaisons probably also change, but don’t lose their jobs. There are mechanisms for bringing new people on board or keeping old staff around for a bit during the transition so that there isn’t a period when there is no staff there at all, but I think that most of the new people don’t move into the White House itself until after the inauguration. Here’s a listof positions and salaries for White House staff from 2006. I think all the people on this list will be out of work on January 21.

I think The West Wing once mentioned that an incoming administration has to fill thousands of appointed positions. These include White House jobs like chief of staff and communications director, but also ambassadors and members of commissions. Edited to add that some are political appointments that don’t require oversight while others require congressional approval.

The big ones are the jobs that require Senate approval:

[li]All 15 heads of the executive departments,[/li][li]Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy,[/li][li]A few hundred Under-Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries to work for the Cabinet bosses,[/li][li]Heads and underlings of a few dozen independent agencies,[/li][li]All diplomats[/li][li]The Joint Chiefs of Staff, plus the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the JCS[/li][li]Any vacant federal judge positions that become available[/li]

In addition, each Cabinet secretary is entitled in turn to appoint a number of underlings who don’t require Senate approval.

Everybody below that level (the top three or four in most departments) are career Civil Service employees or military officers and not political appointees.

What do you mean with diplomats in that list?

Ambassadors? Consuls? People who go oversea to discuss things with country X? Something else?

I get the others (mostly), but the word Diplomat sticks out.

Not all diplomats by any stretch - most are civil servants and career people. Ambassadors and some top people in important posts are political apointees.

But aren’t Ambassadors appointed for a certain time limit? It would be really strange for me (to make a complete hyptothetical) to meet with one Ambassador to Iceland on the 1/20/09 and then another a few weejs after the 01/21/09. (if I got the dates right)

Or do you* just mean that the President gets to decide the Ambassadors whos “term limits” rum out while he is in office?

*And by you I mean anyone who’s able to answer my questions.

Lamar is right. I meant ambassadors and consuls.

I’m pretty sure they serve at the President’s pleasure.

I’m pretty sure they “serve at the pleasure of the President.” That means they can be replaced at any time for any reason. Major allies and other key countries (Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Pakistan, for example) will se a new Ambassador within a month. Iceland and Lesotho might take a little longer. A fair number of Ambassadors come from the ranks of the Foreign Service, and may not be replaced at all unless some big donor’s family hails from Rekjavik and they place a phone call.

Ok, time for me to call the White House then cause I like the parties the current one is holding :wink: :smiley: (and all sort of other jokes)

But shit, I was pretty certain that any Ambassador was appointed without political consent. That most of them were like a “sunset position” for most guys/gals. That they just were “non-political” entities, representing whatever political position. But that doesn’t seem to be the case if we look at the history of appointments to Russia and Iceland and Sweden (just Wiki it).

I admit my ignorance in this stake.

Ambassadors are representatives of the head of state (which in the United States is the President). New head of state = new ambassador.

Since the OP is about people who lose their jobs at the end of an administration, I’d note that federal judges are appointed for life, and some Senate-confirmed positions are appointed for specific lengths of time regardless of a change in administration (e.g. FBI Director, Fed Governors).

The vast majority of executive branch political appointees are “Schedule C” appointees. These are largely middle-management positions that are filled by non-career political appointees. The appointment does not require Senate confirmation, and is technically made by the relevant Secretary – although the decision almost always comes from the White House. The number can fluctuate, but I believe there are about 1,600 Schedule C appointees currently serving.

As for Congressional staff, if their Senator or Representative loses they’re out on their ass. It’s a little more complicated with Committee staff. They work at the pleasure of the Chairman or the ranking minority member, and if that person loses his race the new guy gets to decide whether to keep them or not. Also, committee ratios and budgets get rebalanced every Congress, so if the Republicans take big loses in the election, they’re likely to see their committee staff budget slashed (whereas the Democrats will see an increase).