Cheat Sheet Q&A: Is Trump's full cabinet in place yet?
Today's entry: Hey Brian I wanted to ask you about Trump's cabinet. I haven't heard anyone talk about appointments recently but isn't he still waiting on votes for some of his picks? If so wouldn't this be record obstructionism?
Bottom Line: Yes, President Trump is still waiting on votes for three cabinet nominations. The unfilled posts are:
Secretary of Labor: Alex Acosta (nominated)
Secretary of Agriculture: Sonny Perdue (nominated)
US Trade Representative: Robert Lighthizer (nominated)
It's likely that votes will be set when the Senate returns the week after next but no dates have been firmed up as of now. It's likely that votes may have been called already had it not been for the Senate's prioritization of the confirmation process of Neil Gorsuch. That being said...with regard to the question as to if the delay in confirmation votes for these cabinet appointments are in record territory. The answer is currently yes and no. I'll explain.
No, we're not into record territory yet for any incoming President to have their whole cabinet confirmed. The longest confirmation to take place historically was the confirmation of the Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Obama. Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed on April 28th. So if the remaining confirmations occur prior to that date there won't be an individual record length of time for a full cabinet to be confirmed. That being said Kathleen Sebelius is the only cabinet appointment to ever occur as late as the month of April and that was a special circumstance. The original nominee - Tom Daschle - removed himself from consideration during the confirmation process due to a tax scandal that came to light and Sebelius was the 2nd nomination of President Obama for that post. The situation with Trump's Secretary of Labor is somewhat similar in that regard (as Trump's original pick for that post removed himself from consideration). That doesn't explain the other two delays.
So yes, it's unprecedented for a President to have three unfilled cabinet posts this far into a Presidency and it's yet to be determined if he'll have to wait an unprecedented length of time to have a full cabinet meeting but we'll know one way or another in two weeks.
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