Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Democrats Are Trying To Set A Record, A Deplorable One At Best!
Of President Donald Trump’s 15 Cabinet nominees, nine (in color) have won Senate confirmation. (Identification and credits at end of story.)
It took nearly a month, but
President Donald Trump is finally operating with at least
half of his Cabinet in place. Not since George Washington
in 1789 has a newly elected president waited so long.
Twenty-five days after Trump took the oath of office,
the Senate on Monday night voted to confirm the eighth
and ninth members of his Cabinet: Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin and Veterans Affairs Secretary David
Shulkin. The six
remaining Cabinet nominees will have to wait a while
And that’s just the 15 members of Trump’s Cabinet.
Other top nominees, such as Rep. Mick Mulvaney to
lead the Office of Management and Budget and Scott
Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency,
continue to wait as well. And then there’s Supreme
Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who could face the
biggest battle of anyone.
“President Trump has the fewest Cabinet secretaries
confirmed at this point than any other incoming president
since George Washington,” lamented Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell last week. “The president
deserves to have his Cabinet in place. The American
people deserve that, too.”
“President Trump has the fewest Cabinet secretaries confirmed at this point than any other incoming president since George Washington,” says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Kentucky Republican, a scholar of Senate history,
reviewed the records and discovered that prior to the
1950s, most Cabinet nominees faced no opposition at all.
(McConnell’s analysis included first-term elected
presidents, not those who assumed office after a vacancy.)
In fact, many presidents had their Cabinet nominees in
place on Day One. Such was the case beginning in 1881
with President James Garfield and spanning 52 years
until President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Washington, of course, was establishing the office for the
first time when he was inaugurated on April 30, 1789.
His Cabinet wasn’t confirmed until September 1789.
In recent history, Trump’s predecessors have enjoyed a
much faster pace of Cabinet confirmations. At this point
in their presidencies, here’s how they compared to Trump:
Barack Obama had 12 of 15 confirmed.
George W. Bush had 14 of 14 confirmed.
Bill Clinton had 13 of 14 confirmed.
George H.W. Bush had 10 of 14 confirmed.
Ronald Reagan had 12 of 13 confirmed.
Jimmy Carter had 11 of 11 confirmed.
Richard Nixon had 12 of 12 confirmed.
John F. Kennedy had 10 of 10 confirmed.
Dwight D. Eisenhower had nine of 10 confirmed.
Monday’s confirmation of Mnuchin and Shulkin gives
Trump nine of his 15 Cabinet secretaries. Two of
Trump’s nominees—Sonny Perdue for agriculture
secretary and Andrew Puzder for labor secretary—
haven’t had a committee hearing yet. Puzder’s is
scheduled for Thursday, while Perdue, picked Jan. 18,
is still awaiting a date.
The confirmation delays have left many agencies without a
leader, a situation Democrats know is impeding Trump’s
ability to implement his policies.
“This is a president who wants change, and he has got to
get his nominees confirmed as soon as possible if he is
going to get that change,” Don Devine, director of the
Office of Personnel Management under Reagan, told
The Daily Signal last month.
Under the leadership of Senate Minority Leader Chuck
Schumer, Democrats have kept their promise to delay
Trump’s nominees, even if they lack the votes
ultimately to defeat them.
Schumer, D-N.Y., specifically targeted eight of Trump’s picks. Five now have been confirmed: Education
Secretary Betsy DeVos, Health and Human Services
Secretary Tom Price, Attorney General Jeff Sessions,
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Mnuchin. The other
three targeted are Mulvaney, Pruitt, and Puzder.
Trump has also voiced frustration with the slow progress.
And while the Senate slowly confirms his Cabinet, the time
it spends to do so prevents lawmakers from addressing
the president’s legislative priorities. Last week, for instance,
senators had to wait 30 hours between votes because of
Democrat delaying tactics. The Senate confirmed three
nominees—DeVos, Sessions, and Price—over the span
of a week.
Another delaying tactic Democrats have employed is boycotting the nominees’ committee votes to deny a quorum.
Three of Trump’s nominees have faced this treatment—
unprecedented for a newly elected president. Obama
and Bush nominees faced similar boycotts, but not until
later in their presidencies.
The Obama nominee who faced the greatest GOP
opposition—Timothy Geithner for treasury secretary—
was approved 60-34 on Jan. 26, 2009, less than a week
after Obama took office.
Like Trump, Obama enjoyed a Senate controlled by his
own party. Democrats had 57 senators on Jan. 20, 2009,
when Obama took office. Today, Republicans have 52
Photo: Trump’s picks include (from top left) Rex Tillerson (Photo: Ron Sachs/ZUMA Press/Newscom); Steven Mnuchin (Photo: Ron Sachs/ZUMA Press/Newscom); James Mattis (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom); Jeff Sessions (Photo: Ron Sachs/ZUMA Press/Newscom); Ryan Zinke (Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters/Newscom); Sonny Perdue (Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/ZUMA Press/Newscom); Wilbur Ross (Photo: Mike Theiler/UPI/Newscom); Andrew Puzder (Photo: Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom); Tom Price (Photo: Ron Sachs/DPA/Newscom); Ben Carson (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Newscom); Elaine Chao (Photo: Ron Sachs/ZUMA Press/Newscom); Rick Perry (Photo: Mark Reinstein/ZUMA Press/Newscom); Betsy DeVos (Photo: Ron Sachs/DPA/Newscom); David Shulkin (Photo: Veterans Health Administration/Flickr); and John Kelly (Photo: Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom).