Senate begins Biden Cabinet confirmation hearings


Just a few hours. Until joe biden takes the oath of office and becomes the forty six president of the united states. five of his most high profile cabinet nominees five of them got their senate confirmation hearings today. Secretary of state nominee antony blinken appeared before the foreign relations committee armed services committee question. Defense secretary nominee. Lloyd austin janet yellen who's biden's nominee for treasury secretary. She had her hearing before the finance committee. Also hearing for biden's pick to head homeland security alejandro may orcas and the director of national intelligence nominee of real hanes. Got her hearing as well five. Really big ones right. I mean state defense treasury homeland security intelligence five of them all at once today. We never have this many nominees for huge cabinet positions all having their confirmation hearings all on the same day. That's because in years past when a new administration was on its way in the senate would hold hearings for new cabinet secretaries over a period of days many days in advance of the inauguration so the new president could have at least some of his cabinet in place when he actually took office. Not this time. Though this time we got all these hearings all at once. Literally the day before the inauguration because the republican controlled senate just chose not to get their act together to move on. Move on biden's nominations before now they had some very important recesses. Take among other things i swear. The senate didn't even come back from their latest vacation until today. Yeah no rush when you haven't held confirmation hearings for anyone before today feel free to take a few more days off so biden is having to take off with an empty cabinet with literally. No cabinet secretaries confirmed including in critical national security positions which is totally unprecedented. on president. obama took office in two thousand nine seven of his cabinet. Secretaries were confirmed. By the end of inauguration day. many of president trump's cabinet picks face more opposition in the senate but even he took office with his defense secretary in his homeland security secretary in place. This time though. Barring some kind of senate miracle joe biden will have no one in. His entire cabinet confirmed on his first day including in the major national security positions and bad news. Good news on that front. The bad news is the obvious. The bad news is that that means president biden is going to start with a whole bunch of acting temporary. Fill in cabinet secretaries instead of full blown senate confirmed cabinet secretaries of his choosing which will just make it that much harder for the new president to hit the ground running and that's true in terms of policy matters that's also true in terms of national security. It's worrying for all the obvious reasons. That's the bad news but the good news is that the trump administration has been so profoundly dysfunctional for four whole years that we're actually starting used to that now. We're actually sort of used to having only acting stand in non-confirmed secretaries at all the most important jobs in the cabin and that's not something that the republican controlled senate screwed up for trump despite him doing it the right way. That's just the way he ran the government. I mean thanks to republican senator josh hawley slowing down the process and the homeland security committee. Joe biden is going to have to settle for an acting homeland security secretary for at least a few days but the united states has already had nothing but the homeland security secretaries for like two years under donald trump the longest they can see in the presidential cabinet ever because donald trump could just never get it together to have real nominees who got really confirmed by the senate and who held their job with all the attendant powers so maybe four years and terrible governance. Maybe we are better at running government poorly in that way there was would have been before this four year experiment and terrible governance. That is now coming to a clicks.

Coming up next