Publications

Biden’s Cabinet half-empty after slow start in confirmations

March 2, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is taking shape at the slowest pace of any in modern history, with fewer than a dozen nominees for top posts confirmed more than a month into his tenure. Among Biden’s 23 nominees with Cabinet rank, just 11 have been confirmed by the Senate, or about half. According to the Center...

Biden’s confirmation traffic jam

February 26, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

President Biden has submitted more nominees to the Senate — but received fewer confirmations — than recent presidents, data from the The Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition shows. Why it matters: The new president is facing a pandemic without a surgeon general or head of the Department of Health and Human Services, he...

Lack of Pentagon nominees could be harbinger of slow process

February 24, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

A month after the inauguration of Joe Biden as president, nominations for dozens of top Pentagon jobs have yet to be announced — and it may be quite some time before those roles are filled with confirmed individuals. Across the entire Biden administration, 58 individuals have been nominated for the roughly 1,250 Senate-confirmed spots as...

Biden administration transition cost nearly $20M more than Trump’s

February 22, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

President Biden’s transition effort cost many times that of President Donald Trump, though he also significantly outraised his predecessor. The president’s team spent nearly $24.4 million through mid-February, according to data disclosed on Monday by the General Services Administration, compared with $4.7 million spent by Trump’s team over the comparable period in 2017. Transitions are typically paid for by...

Transfer of Power: Most Expensive Transition Ever

February 22, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

The Biden transition team spent more than five times what President Trump’s transition spent four years ago — $24.4 million to Trump’s $4.7 million — according to new disclosures made public Monday. Biden’s transition spent nearly $13.7 million on payroll, more than 12 times what Trump’s transition spent on “payroll and tax expenses” four years ago. The...

Biden’s Cabinet is mostly empty amid Senate bottleneck despite Democratic control

February 22, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

More than two-thirds of President Biden’s Cabinet nominees are stuck in a procedural bottleneck as they wait to be considered by the Democratic-run chamber. Biden was sworn into office with more nominees ready to go than any of his recent predecessors. But only seven of his 23 Cabinet-level officials have been Senate-confirmed one month into...

The Biden backlog

February 18, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

Nearly a month into President Biden’s presidency, just seven of Biden’s 23 Cabinet picks have been confirmed by the Senate — the lowest number of any president in decades. President Donald Trump had twice the number of Cabinet picks confirmed (14) by this point, Obama had 15 and President George W. Bush had 17 — all of...

Fact check: Presidential Transition Enhancement Act does not allow for former president to maintain control of the military until March

February 11, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

Posts circulating several weeks into the start of President Joe Biden’s administration claim that under the Presidential Transition Enhancement Act of 2019, former President Donald Trump “retains control of the military until 60 days after the inauguration of a new President” and that according to the U.S. Constitution, “the full transition of power does not...

Rocky Presidential Transition Prompts Calls for Changes in the Law

February 5, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

In the wake of the tumultuous and unprecedented presidential transition, an academic research group tracking the transfer of power process is recommending that Congress strengthen transition laws to ensure that funding, resources and information sharing happen expeditiously after an election. One area of legislative reform proposed the possibility of prohibiting outgoing presidents from making pardons...

Trump left behind a damaged government. Here’s what Biden faces as he rebuilds it.

February 6, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

A few weeks after taking office, Biden and his team are confronted with numerous challenges, including smoothing over chaotic operations, boosting flagging morale and staffing up agencies that dwindled. “They’re going to have the traditional challenge of transition, but now they’ll have to address the institutional damage,” Max Stier, president and chief executive of the...