Streamlining Senate Processes

Create efficient paths to confirmation while maintaining Senate oversight

Delays in the confirmation process leave significant government leadership vacancies, discourage talented people from submitting their names for consideration and effectively reduce Senate oversight by leaving acting officials in place. Currently, it takes almost three times longer on average to confirm a nominee than it did during President Reagan’s first year in office. While acting officials often serve ably and faithfully, surveys of government employees show that vacancies and constantly changing leadership negatively impacts morale and long-term planning.

Options for creating more efficient paths for nominations could include allowing, under some circumstances, the bundling of nominations to move to final vote as a package. The so-called “privileged” process, a streamlined process created a decade ago for typically noncontroversial positions, also needs improvement through expedited floor procedures for these nominees, which could include allowing privileged nominees to be considered as a group.

The Center for Presidential Transition® explores ideas to improve the scheduling and review of presidential nominees in the following reports.