Engaging Congress and Promoting Reforms

To establish a smoother presidential transition process, Congress must continue to remove bureaucratic barriers and ensure the timely appointment and confirmation of key government leaders. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the Partnership is in a unique position to facilitate the dialogue surrounding transition process reform and stress the importance of early preparation for presidential appointees.

We communicate regularly with White House staff and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to influence legislation and policy affecting the transition process. We also work with our congressional contacts to identify opportunities to promote early planning and expedite the Senate’s role in the presidential appointment and confirmation process. From drafting policy documents that outline measures to improve the transition process to educating policymakers on Capitol Hill, the Partnership actively works to guarantee Congress supports the timely, responsible and effective transfer of power between administrations. This will be especially important post-2016 presidential election, when nearly half of U.S. senators will be in their first terms and will participate in a presidential transition for the first time.

With Partnership support, Congress has taken important steps in recent years to streamline the number of positions subject to Senate confirmation and to make resources available to presidential transition teams before Election Day. Building off of these important pieces of legislation, the Partnership has identified additional steps to improve the transition process—including codifying best practices from prior transitions, designating a federal transition coordinator and further reducing the number of positions subject to Senate confirmation—and is actively working with members and staff on additional legislation to address these areas of need. The Partnership has also endorsed key changes, such as streamlining the forms used in the confirmation process and creating “surge capacity” for Senate committees to confirm a high volume of nominees that could be made without legislation.

Recently Introduced Legislation

S. 1172: Presidential Transitions Improvements Act of 2015 (sponsored by Sen. Carper)

Enacted Legislation

Pub. L. 112-166: Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011
Enacted August 10, 2012

Pub. L. 111-283: Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010
Enacted October 15, 2010

Pub. L. 108-458: Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004
Enacted December 17, 2004


S. Res. 116: A resolution to provide for expedited Senate consideration of certain nominations subject to advice and consent.