DemDaily: The Cabinet and Confirmation Count

January 24, 2017

Donald Trump may be sworn in as the President, but most of his Cabinet is still waiting in the wings -- as the first tier of the 1,200+ presidential or "political" appointees that require Senate confirmation.

The Cabinet includes the heads of 15 Executive Departments and six "Cabinet-level" positions, as well as the Vice President and White House Chief-of-Staff.

The Process

  • A Presidential Nomination is sent to the United States Senate for confirmation, where it is:
  • Submitted first for review by the Senate Committee relevant to the nominee's department, which:
  • Conducts public Confirmation Hearings on the nominee's credentials and policy positions.
  • If a majority of the committee approves, the nomination is "voted out" of Committee with a recommendation and sent to the full Senate for a "floor" vote.
  • Full Senate Vote: A simple majority of the vote is required to confirm. 

The Confirmation Count

Confirmed by the US Senate
Hearings Completed Date of Confirmation Vote Senate Vote Tally
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly January 10 Friday, January 20 88 in favor
11 against
Secretary of Defense James Mattis January 12 Friday, January 20 98 in favor
1 against (*Gillibrand/NY)
CIA Director (non-cabinet) Mike Pompeo January 12 Monday, January 23 66 in favor
32 against
Approved by Senate Committee: Pending Full Senate Vote
Position Nominee Senate Committee  Hearings Completed Date of Confirmation Vote
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Foreign Relations January 11 Monday, January 23
Secretary, Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs January 12 Tuesday, January 24
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao Commerce, Science, & Transportation January 11 Tuesday, January 24
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Commerce, Science, & Transportation January 18 Tuesday, January 24
U.N. Ambassador (non-cabinet) Nikki Haley Foreign Relations January 18 Tuesday, January 24
Completed Committee Confirmation Hearings: Pending Committee Vote
Position Nominee Senate Committee  Hearings Completed Committee Vote Scheduled
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions January 17 Tuesday, January 31
Attorney General Jeff Sessions Judiciary January 10-11 Tuesday, January 31
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke Energy & Natural Resources January 17 Not yet scheduled
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Energy & Natural Resources January 19 Not yet scheduled
Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin Finance January 19 Not yet scheduled
Administrator of the EPA (non-cabinet) Scott Pruitt Environment and Public Works January 18 Not yet scheduled

Nominees: Committee Hearings In Progress or awaiting Scheduling

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price
Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin
Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder

Small Business Administration Linda McMahon
Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney
Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats
U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer

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Kimberly Scott

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