After three months, US President Joe Biden has completed the White House cabinet. This is the best aide to guide the federal oversight by his administration. On Thursday, the president sat down with his team for the first time.
At the confirmation of the Senate of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh last week, Biden filled all 15 positions of his presidential cabinet secretary.
The confirmation process began slowly, with delays in nominations and a Senate confirmation hearing, partly due to the Republican challenge to Biden’s victory and Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
But by about 60 days of his presidency, Biden had caught up with most of his recent predecessors by setting up his department head in the office. He is also the first president to successfully confirm all his former cabinet candidates since Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Let’s look at five important points from this process.
Diverse teams-with exceptions
Of Biden’s 15 Cabinet Secretary picks, only five are straight white men. This is the lowest percentage of presidential positions. (In contrast, Donald Trump was 11; former record holder Bill Clinton was 6 out of 14.)
Biden’s cabinets also have some of the first. Janet Yellen was the first female Treasury Secretary. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland was the first Native American woman to lead the department.
Pete Butigeg became the first openly LGBT cabinet secretary. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was the first black man to lead the Pentagon. Xavier Becerra and Alejandro Mayorkas are the first Hispanic Health and Welfare Services and Department of Homeland Security chiefs, respectively.
The figure above shows all of Mr. Biden’s candidates. Black-and-white photography candidates are white men, but color photography candidates fall into one or more of the following categories: People from ethnic minorities; members of the LGBT community.
One absence from the appointment of Biden’s top cabinet is either an Asian-American or Pacific Islands (AAPI) heritage-such an omission for the first time in 21 years. Despite the fact that Vice President Kamala Harris is of South Asian descent, this is a development that has generated a critical reaction from some Democrats.
“I have Kamala Harris. We are very proud of her. We don’t need anyone else,” said Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth. “.
President Madalen Suan Trang Mielke of the Asia-Pacific American Parliamentary Institute warned in a January statement that Biden was at risk of alienating the fastest-growing racial or ethnic groups of US voters.
In the 2020 presidential election, an exit poll found that 11 million Americans, descendants of AAPI, voted and supported Trump by a 2: 1 margin.
“The brave exclusion of AAPI in this upcoming administration will abandon and eliminate the AAPI community.” She said.
Biden’s candidate in the Senate had an average winning margin of 48 votes, a comfortable and bipartisan majority.
Only two Secretary of the Interior, Harland and Secretary of Health and Welfare Besera, faced serious challenges for the Secretary of the Interior.
Harland, a former New Mexico member of the House of Representatives, has been categorically opposed to her past views on energy policy.
At the confirmation hearing, she was repeatedly sought for opposition to the “hydraulic fracturing” of oil shale on public land and past support for the “Green New Deal” program to address climate change.
In the end, only four Republicans voted for confirmation.
Former House of Representatives and Attorney General of California, Besera, voted closest to Biden’s appointees-50-49. The anti-abortion group defended the right to abortion and opposed the candidate because of his past support for a conservative “pregnancy” lawsuit at the Counseling Center.
Besera also faced opposition to his candid defense of democracy’s passage of health care reform and support for undocumented immigrant rights.
Republicans have criticized Besera’s relatively inexperienced health policy, which has not been considered much in past Secretary of Health candidates.
Rather, both confirmations show that hot-button political issues such as abortion, immigration, and environmental regulation could keep voting moving within the Republican Party-this will be noted by the Biden team in future policy struggles. That’s what you have to do.
The fact that these candidates belong to ethnic minorities was justified by some liberals.
“There seems to be a pattern here,” Hawaiian Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono told Politico.
Biden’s secretaries to all departments were confirmed, but he did not post no runs when it came to cabinet-level appointments.
Neera Tanden, elected head of the White House Office of Management, was the only candidate Biden had to resign in the face of losing confirmation votes.
Tanden was considered a kind of sacrificial lamb before the Democrats swept the two Georgia elections and the Republicans appeared to be trying to maintain control of the US Senate. They opposed the Biden administration without endangering Biden’s higher level picks.
Under Democratic rule, it seemed that Tanden, a longtime Democratic operative with close ties to former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, might squeak.
The closest cause of Tanden’s political demise was the history of her inflammatory tweets directed at progressive left and right-wing political opponents. It didn’t help her to focus her online anger on Republican senators by name, such as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Her fate was sealed when West Virginia’s moderate Democrat Joe Manchin and their Republicans came out against confirmation.
A bigger lesson from the Tanden case is that political moderates are trying to keep Biden in his “new tone” rhetoric when it comes to administrative staff.
Tanden’s advocates quickly identified Trump-era appointees who were in further conflict on social media (not to mention Trump himself), but at least for Senator Nakamichi, the “how about” defense was skipped. There wasn’t.
“Neera Tanden has no experience or temperament to lead this important institution,” Collins wrote in a statement announcing his opposition to Tanden. “Her past actions accurately show the kind of hostility that President Biden promised to transcend.”
Republican “No” Brigade-and “Yes” Delegation
In the process of 15 votes for Biden’s choice, a clear pattern emerged as to who in the Senate strongly opposes the new administration and who may accept outreach.
At the top of the former list is Josh Hawley, Missouri, who voted against all of Biden’s top appointments. He has established himself as the toughest hardliner to the president, pushing to challenge Biden’s election recognition in Congress just hours after the Capitol was hit by a Trump-backed riot. Power also led.
Just behind Hurley are Ted Cruz, Texas and Rick Scott, Florida. Both just voted for Secretary of Defense Austin. Like Hurley, both are looking at the 2024 White House bid.
In fact, the president’s ambitions seem to be the best predictor of whether Republican senators will vote against Biden’s candidates, and cooperation with the new administration will be political in the 2024 Republican presidential preliminary election. It suggests a political calculation that would be poisonous.
On the contrary, it also revealed a group of Republicans most likely to cross the aisle to vote for Democrats-although their identity is not so surprising.
Collins, Maine, endorsed all of Biden’s candidates. Murkowski did it for everyone except Besera. They and Utah’s Mitt Romney (13 votes “yes”) also upheld Trump’s impeachment conviction in February, clearly going beyond worrying about offending their party’s base.
Many other moderates (Rob Portman, Ohio, Sherry Muakapit, West Virginia, Dan Sullivan, Alaska) and old senators (Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley, minority leaders in Iowa) are also double-digit numbers. Approved the Biden Pick.
If Biden intends to bring together all sorts of bipartisan coalitions to support his legislative agenda, the previous group may be a good place to start.
Just the beginning
Rod Rosenstein wasn’t exactly a generic name when Donald Trump nominated him as Attorney General, but Rosenstein acted on behalf of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Robert Swan Mueller. That changed quickly when he was appointed as a special adviser to investigate Russia’s 2016 election interference.
Biden still has to fill much of his administration with people who do real work in various government ministries.
The public may not be paying attention, but politicians are. On Monday, Biden lowered the nomination of Elizabeth Klein, a liberal law professor and climate activist, to Deputy Secretary of the Interior because of opposition from Republican Senator Murkowski.
Democratic senator Duckworth threatened to block all straight white male Biden candidates unless Asian Pacific Americans were given more appointments.
Such political skirmishes are not noticeable to the public, but even when one party controls both as it is today, it keeps the relationship between the U.S. government’s administration and the legislature in order. Can be very helpful to you.
These lower-level appointments were celebrated among various supporters within the Democratic Party, including when Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine recently became the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the US Senate. It can also cause.
The Washington Post is tracking 790 executives confirmed in the Senate. Of these, only 29 have been confirmed, 37 are awaiting voting, and 458 have not yet been filled out. There are many other opportunities for history and controversy in the future.