Acton Institute Powerblog

Understanding the President’s Cabinet: Vice President

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Note: This is the post #17 in a weekly series of explanatory posts on the officials and agencies included in the President’s Cabinet. See the series introduction here.

Seal of the VP /

Cabinet position: Vice President (VPOTUS)

Current: Mike Pence

Succession: The Vice President is second in the presidential line of succession.

Primary Duties: The Vice President is also the President of the Senate, and in this role has two primary functions: to cast a vote in the event of a Senate deadlock (which Pence has done twice) and to preside over and certify the official vote count of the Electoral College after a presidential election. The National Security Act of 1947 also makes VPOTUS a statutory member of the National Security Council.

Secretary Info

Vice President Pence /

Vice President: Mike Pence

Previous occupation: Governor of Illinois

Education: BA in history from Hanover College, and a JD degree from the Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Previous government experience: Served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001-2013.

Religious Affiliation: Evangelical (nondenominational)

Notable achievements:

• Served as president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation.

• While in Congress, served as head of the Republican Study Committee and Republican conference chairman.

• Hosted “The Mike Pence Show,” a syndicated radio talk show and morning TV show.

Notable quotes:

On political identity: “I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican … in that order.”

On school choice: “Children in this state ought to be afforded opportunities for quality education. Those decisions should be made in the best interests of our kids, and those decisions should be made by parents.”

On his influences: “I would say that my Christian faith and my relationship with (my wife) Karen are the two most dominant influences in my life today.

Previous and forthcoming posts in this series: Secretary of StateSecretary of the TreasurySecretary of Education, Secretary of LaborSecretary of Defense, Attorney GeneralSecretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of CommerceSecretary of Health and Human ServicesSecretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of EnergySecretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Trade Representative, Director of National Intelligence, Representative of the United States to the United Nations, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, White House Chief of Staff


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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).