DemDaily: The Confirmation Count
February 9, 2017
As his third week in office comes to a close, President Trump has the fewest confirmed Cabinet picks than the past 11 Presidents combined.
The Cabinet includes the heads of 15 Executive Departments and now seven "Cabinet-level" positions, as well as the Vice President and White House Chief-of-Staff.
- 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 21-member committee approves, the nomination is "voted out" of Committee to the full Senate for a "floor" vote.
- Full Senate Vote: A simple majority (51) is required to confirm. If the vote is tied 50-50, the Vice President casts the tiebreaking vote.
With the first tie-breaking nomination vote in history cast by a Vice President, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Education Secretary Tuesday. Similarly, a 30 hour gauntlet of speeches by Senate Dems in protest of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, ended in defeat with his confirmation Wednesday.
The Senate has not formally rejected a Cabinet nominee since President George H.W. Bush's 1989 nomination of John Tower for Defense Secretary, but that does not include those that never make it to Committee Hearings. So far only one of Trump's nominees has dropped out - Vincent Viola, the Donald's pick for Secretary of the Army (non-cabinet), due to business conflicts.
Of the remaining 14 Cabinet or Cabinet-Level posts, Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price is expected to be the most contentious due to investment conflicts of interest.
|Hearings Completed||Senate Confirmation
|Senate Vote Total|
|Secretary of State||Rex Tillerson||January 11||February 1||56 in favor
|Secretary of Homeland Security||John Kelly||January 10||January 20||88 in favor
|Secretary of Defense||James Mattis||January 12||January 20||98 in favor
1 against (*Gillibrand)
|Attorney General||Jeff Sessions||January 11||February 8||52 in favor
|Secretary of Education||Betsy DeVos||January 17||February 7||50 in favor (+VP tiebreak)
|Secretary of Transportation||Elaine Chao||January 11||January 31||93 in favor
|CIA Director (non-cabinet)||Mike Pompeo||January 12||January 23||66 in favor
|U.N. Ambassador (non-cabinet)||Nikki Haley||January 18||January 24||96 in favor
|Position||Nominee||Senate Committee||Hearings Completed||Committee Vote Date|
|Secretary, Housing & Urban Development||Ben Carson||Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs||January 12||January 24|
|Secretary of Commerce||Wilbur Ross||Commerce, Science, & Transportation||January 18||January 24|
|Secretary of Energy||Rick Perry||Energy & Natural Resources||January 19||January 31|
|Secretary of the Interior||Ryan Zinke||Energy & Natural Resources||January 17||January 31|
|Secretary of the Treasury||Steve Mnuchin||Finance||January 19||February 1|
|Secretary of Health & Human Services||Tom Price||Finance||January 18||February 1|
|Administrator of the EPA (non-cabinet)||Scott Pruitt||Environment & Public Works||January 18||February 2|
|Position||Nominee||Senate Committee||Hearings Completed||Senate Vote Scheduled|
|Secretary of Veterans Affairs||David Shulkin||Veterans Affairs||February 1||Not yet scheduled|
|Small Business Administrator (non-cabinet)||Linda McMahon||Small Business and Entrepreneurship||January 24||Not yet scheduled|
|Budget Director (non-cabinet)||Mick Mulvaney||Budget||January 24||Not yet scheduled|
Remaining Nominees: Committee Hearings awaiting Scheduling
Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue
Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder
Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats
U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer
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Sources: Washington Post, New York Times, The Atlantic