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Joe Biden Cabinet: POTUS-elect and allies push for faster confirmation of nominees
With both the House and the Senate now coming under the control of the Democratic party, it would make confirmation of Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees much smoother. However, it may not be fast enough at the moment as Biden and his allies are pushing for Cabinet nominee confirmations to be done as soon as possible.
The confirmation of Biden’s Cabinet picks by the Senate appears to be behind schedule compared to his predecessors, whose nominees were confirmed by Inauguration Day. The president-elect’s transition team has commenced a messaging push to Republican Senators to already confirm Biden’s Cabinet nominees in key departments such as State, Homeland Security, and the Pentagon among others. People familiar with the matter noted that the lag could hinder the administration’s earliest efforts to tackle challenges in the economy, national security, and health.
This is getting a boost from Democrats in the Senate, especially from leader Chuck Schumer, who urged his colleagues to begin confirmations. Schumer cited the recent riots at the Capitol as well as the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons why confirming nominees as soon as possible before the inauguration is important. The confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas, who is Biden’s nominee for Homeland Security secretary, is being prioritized. Mayorkas’ hearing from the Senate was to take place on January 19.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to give Biden the votes for his nominees but has not specified a timetable in carrying them out. However, as the Democratic party is to become the majority following the inauguration, the confirmation process may quicken. Another person familiar with the matter revealed that Biden is set to place acting agency heads once he takes office.
Meanwhile, the president-elect recently praised the bipartisan decision of the House of Representatives to impeach outgoing president Donald Trump following the riots. 10 Republican representatives, including GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney, voted to impeach Trump, resulting in a 232-197 vote.
“Today the members of the House of Representatives exercised the power granted to them under our Constitution and voted to impeach and hold the president accountable,” said Biden in a statement this week. “It was a bipartisan vote cast by members who followed the Constitution and their conscience.”