Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics/Independent Agencies in US Government


Hi there!
I apologize if this is not something you can answer. I couldn't find any other place to look at.

I read on wikipedia that "normally", the President can appoint the commissioner that will serve as the Chairperson for an independent government agency (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_agencies_of_the_United_States_governmen).

What do they mean by "normally"? Because when I read that word, I think that there are certain circumstances where he can't appoint a chairperson? Are those circumstances only when the chairperson has not completed their term, or is it something else?

Thank you for your time.



There are some independent commissions where the Chair is not appointed by the President.  For example, the Federal Election Commission has a six person Commission.  Although the Commissioners are appointed by the President, subject to Senate confirmation, the Commission Chair rotates among the Commissioners so that one of the six Commissioners serves as Chair for one year during his or her six year term.  The President has no say over who will chair the Commission in any given year.  Since Commissioners serve six year terms, the Chair in any given year might have been appointed to the Commission by the current President's predecessor.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question about U.S. Political history, Constitutional law, the legislative process, elections, etc. I enjoy Presidential and Congressional historical trivia, but can answer more substantive questions too.


Former Staff member for a Congressman and Senator. I also worked on about 10 Congressional and Presidential campaigns (only one that won). For a short time, I worked in the legal department of the Federal Election Commission.    I have a B.A. in Political Science.

Former LBJ Fellow (paid fellowship for Congressional Staff).
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary Society).

Washington Post
Washington Times

J.D. University of Michigan
B.A. George Washington University (Poli. Sci. major).

Awards and Honors
LBJ Fellow
Truman Scholar

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