Washington Beat Book

Written for reporters by reporters, the Washington Beat Book provides a crash course in government agencies for those assigned to cover the federal government. Paul Miller Fellows select and profile each agency, with relevant links and resources. Click an agency seal to browse the information compiled by our fellows, or navigate directly to an agency's website with the provided link.

U.S. Department of Treasury

Overview

The U.S. Treasury Department was created in 1789 to advise the president on fiscal policy and manage the revenue of the U.S government.  In the months leading up to the 2008 financial crisis and in the years following, the Treasury department has taken on increased prominence as the lead executive branch department on all matters economic.

Treasury administers the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) – the bank and auto bailout hatched at the height of the crisis.  It is also involved in the Making Home Affordable program and other efforts to stem foreclosures.

The agency oversees the collection of taxes and other money paid to the United States and pays the government's bills. It regulates national banks and thrift institutions and prints and mints all paper money, coins and postage stamps. The agency also enforces federal finance and tax laws and investigates and prosecutes tax evaders, counterfeiters and forgers.

Under the 2003 reorganization, law enforcement sections of Treasury's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were transferred to the Justice Department. Treasury kept the tax and trade functions in a new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The Secret Service, Customs and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center were pulled out of Treasury and housed in the new Department of Homeland Security.

Another Treasury bureau, the Office of Thrift Supervision, was eliminated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  As of July 21, 2011, the authorities and responsibilities of the OTS will be transferred to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board.  OTS oversaw some of the most dramatic failures of the financial crisis: IndyMac, Washington Mutual and American International Group (AIG).

Location

Address

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220

Press Contacts

The main Treasury Department press office media contacts are listed here, along with individual “beats.”  It is best to contact these specialists by e-mail and to follow up with a call to the press office: 202-622-2960.

Each bureau has its own media department.  (See links below)

To contact the IRS office in your state, click on the bureau link, then click on “Newsroom” then on “Media Contacts.” You also can sign up to receive electronic news releases via e-mail. These can include recent tax statistics, processing delays and tax tips.

A Treasury spokesperson can be reached 24 hours a day at 202-622-2960.

Bureaus

According to Treasury, the department's bureaus make up 98% of the agency's work force and carry out specific operations: 

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

The Bureau of Engraving & Printing (BEP)

Bureau of Public Debt

Community Development Financial Institutions Fraud

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

The Financial Management Service (FMS)

The Inspector General

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)

Internal Revenue Service

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

U.S. Mint

About the OCC, OTS, and other bureau

The OCC regulates national banks and US branches of foreign banks and levies hefty fines for those that run afoul of privacy, safe banking and anti-fraud laws. Bank officials are sometimes fined or prosecuted personally. And the OCC also posts on its website the most recent community reinvestment act record of national banks. That could be helpful if a big bank located in your coverage area is looking to expand or fund a controversial project.

The Bureau of Public Debt borrows the money used to operate the federal government, and keeps a running tab on public debt.

Does this agency's information need updating? programs@nationalpress.org

Contact Information

  • 202-622-2960

Contacts

A regularly updated list of Treasury press contacts can be found here.

Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Brookly McLaughlin
202-622-2960