Two decades later: How lessons from the 9/11 Commission Report can help us improve the political appointment process and protect our national security
One of the 9/11 Commission report’s most notable findings was that a delayed presidential transition in 2000 “hampered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, clearing, and obtaining Senate confirmation of key appointees.”
The U.S. Process for Confirming a Cabinet Takes Longer Than Almost All Other Countries
The U.S. takes far longer to confirm its executive Cabinet than most other countries. Among the 20 countries with the highest gross domestic product, the U.S. was the second slowest during the most recent transitions to a new head of state.
The Biden Administration Faces Obstacles Getting Key Officials in Place Despite a Well-Organized Transition
At the 100 day mark of his administration on April 29, President Joe Biden had outpaced his predecessors by appointing a record of nearly 1,500 officials to government positions not requiring Senate approval and by nominating 220 others for Senate confirmed jobs.
Most Nominations Withdrawn From Consideration by the Senate Happen Prior To Receiving a Committee Hearing
While withdrawn nominations make up a small percentage of presidential nominations, they often receive significant media attention and consume time and resources for the White House, which must find another candidate, and the Senate, which must take up more of its limited time to consider someone new.
After 50 Days, Biden Has Submitted More Nominations to the Senate Than Recent Presidents, but Had Fewer Confirmed
March 10th marked President Joe Biden’s first 50 days in the White House. Biden has submitted more nominations than his recent predecessors at a comparable time, but the Senate has confirmed fewer of those nominees.
Biden Joins the Club: Each of the Previous Five Presidents Had an Early Cabinet Nominee Withdraw
Biden is the sixth president in a row who has notched at least one unsuccessful Cabinet-level nomination by the end of their first two months in office.
Why Delays in Confirming Biden’s Cabinet Matter: Sub-Cabinet Positions Are Rarely Filled Until the Cabinet Secretary Is Confirmed
The pace of confirming Cabinet secretaries historically influences the staffing of other leadership positions such as deputy secretaries and undersecretaries.
Top Acting Officials in the Biden Administration
As President Joe Biden continues to staff his administration, he has named acting officials to fill some of the 1,200 positions that require Senate confirmation. The following is a list of acting officials named by the Biden administration for top positions at the 15 Cabinet agencies.
Senate Taking Longer To Confirm Biden’s Cabinet Than for Most Recent Presidents
Eight days into Joe Biden’s presidency, the Senate has confirmed only three of 15 Cabinet secretary nominees.
Follow More Than 750 Key Government Appointments with the Biden Political Appointee Tracker
The Partnership for Public Service and The Washington Post launched a webpage in December to track more than 750 of President Joe Biden’s Senate-confirmed political appointments.