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

Why? Unprecedented delays and obstructionism on
the part of Democrats have resulted in the most
contentious confirmation process in U.S. history,
according to a Washington Post analysis. No other
 president’s nominees have collectively faced similar
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.

It’s the consequence of a polarized Washington, 

where Democrats are in no rush to rubber-stamp 

Trump’s picks, even though past presidents have 

been afforded such a courtesy.

“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.

It is a disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country. Obstruction by Democrats!

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.
Even those who won Senate confirmation faced “record-
setting opposition,” according to The New York Times.
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.
In 2009, Obama had 10 Cabinet secretaries confirmed after
 his first week in office. Nine of those nominees won Senate
 confirmation by voice vote, where an official tally isn’t
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).