Center Blog

Tracking Trump’s Cabinet appointments progress

February 08, 2017

Courtney Liss, Associate Manager, Partnership for Public Service

With The Washington Post, the Partnership for Public Service has been tracking nearly 700 key executive branch nominations through the confirmation process. This week, we’re taking a deeper look at that data, focusing on a historical perspective of Cabinet nominations and confirmations in the early weeks of administrations.

So far, President Donald Trump has nominated and submitted to Congress 14 individuals for Cabinet positions. Of those, 6 have been confirmed: Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, General Jim Mattis for secretary of defense, General John Kelly for secretary of homeland security, Elaine Chao for secretary of transportation, Betsy DeVos for secretary of education, and Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. Additionally, two Cabinet rank nominees have been confirmed, Michael Pompeo for CIA director and Nikki Haley for United Nations representative. The remaining nominees are going through the Senate confirmation process, beginning with filling out their paperwork and culminating in a full Committee vote.

Here’s how that compares historically with previous presidents:

President # of Cabinet Nominations Submitted on 1/20 People confirmed: 1/20-1/26 People confirmed:
People confirmed:
Jimmy Carter 11 11
Ronald Reagan 13 12 0 1
George H.W. Bush 10 2 4 1
Bill Clinton 13 13
George W. Bush 12 11 1
Barack Obama 12 10 1 0
Donald Trump 14 2 2 2

As you can see, while Trump nominated more Cabinet officials than prior presidents on Inauguration Day, his nominees have not been confirmed as quickly as in the past. This is the result of vetting issues with the Office of Government Ethics and the Senate, intensified debate between parties and extensive Senate questioning.

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