Jan. 20 marked the inauguration of President Donald Trump, making him the 45th president of the United States. Despite his inauguration, Trump took the oath of office without a fully confirmed Cabinet at his disposal. It is going to be hard for the president to have his proposed Cabinet members approved; the confirmation of members is a four-step process. First, the member must be nominated by the current president. Next, there are Senate hearings by the relevant Senate committee, followed by a confirmation vote in the presence of the full Senate. If approved by the Senate, the nominee becomes part of the Cabinet once they are confirmed.
As of Jan. 24, four of the nominees have been confirmed. Taking a look at the nominees, there is a refreshing mix of politicians and business men and women. The selection offers a promising perspective on how our country will be run, as not all of them are career politicians. The Senate has confirmed James Mattis, a former Marine Corps General, as Secretary of Defense; John Kelly, another former Marine Corps general, as the Secretary of Homeland Security; Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo as the CIA Director; and Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, as the United Nations Ambassador.
“I am pleased by the confirmation votes of General Mattis and Kelly. These uniquely qualified leaders will immediately begin the important work of rebuilding our military, defending our nation and securing our borders. I am proud to have two American heroes join my administration,” Trump said of the first two confirmed nominees.
Additionally, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson has been selected for Secretary of State and is awaiting confirmation.
Nine members have completed Senate hearings and are awaiting confirmation. These include Dr. Ben Carson, former presidential candidate and retired surgeon, as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Elaine Chao, former Labor Secretary, as the Secretary of Transportation; Rick Perry, former governor of Texas, as the Secretary of Energy; investor Wilbur Ross as the Secretary of Commerce; Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke for the Secretary of the Interior; Betsy DeVos as the nominee for the Secretary of Education; Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as the Attorney General; Dune Capital Management’s CEO and Co-Chairman Steve Mnuchin for the Secretary of the Treasury; and Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general, for administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.
It is troubling that these hearings and confirmations are taking so long. While many appreciate the fact that Trump is not the typical politician that has been groomed for the presidency, many can also agree that this fact limits his expertise in certain areas of the position. With opposition arising against the nominees in addition to the extended amount of time the confirmations are taking, the government continues to struggle to function without a full Cabinet. It would be in the best interest of the country, despite opposing sides and differing opinions, for the president to receive the assistance of the Cabinet.
Instead of wishing for things to go wrong under this presidency, maybe it would be best for people to understand that this is reality. Every American is on the same playing field, and it would be advantageous for everyone to hope that it does not crash. Hopefully the Senate will grant confirmation to the nominees soon, so the president may have the Cabinet at his disposal when making significant decisions. Despite the delay for the confirmations, many are predicting that all of Trump’s nominees will make it through the Senate.