January 25, 2021: The Senate will vote on Janet Yellen’s nomination for secretary of the Treasury on Monday.
President Joe Biden (D) and his team have been preparing for the transition between presidential administrations since the election, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.
In 2020, there were 1,472 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,118 positions required Senate confirmation and 354 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden administration.
- The Senate confirmed retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense by a vote of 93-2. He is the first Black secretary to lead the Department of Defense and the second member of President Joe Biden’s (D) Cabinet to be confirmed.
- Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) were the only votes against Austin’s confirmation.
- On January 21, the House and Senate approved the waiver to allow Austin to serve before a seven-year cooldown period for former active service members. This was the third time a general was granted this waiver following Gens. Jim Mattis in 2017 and George Marshall in 1950.
- The Senate Finance Committee unanimously voted to support Janet Yellen’s nomination for secretary of the Treasury on Friday. The full Senate will vote on her nomination on Monday.
- No committee hearings are scheduled today.
- Biden is expected to repeal the ban on transgender servicemembers in the military through an executive order. CBS News reported an announcement is expected as soon as Monday.
- Biden imposed a ban on most non-U.S. citizens traveling from South Africa effective Saturday. He is also reinstating a travel ban on non-U.S. citizen travelers from Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and 26 other countries on Monday.
- On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the reconciliation process was one tool Democrats were considering to move forward on Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan.
Transition in Context: Financial Disclosures
As part of the confirmation process for political appointees, they must submit a public financial disclosure report including assets, income, retirement accounts, and liabilities. The United States Office of Government Ethics publishes these reports.
Click on the following links to see public financial disclosure reports for nominees with confirmation hearings this week:
- Gina Raimondo, nominee for secretary of commerce
- Jennifer Granholm, nominee for secretary of energy
- Marcia Fudge, nominee for secretary of housing and urban development
- Denis McDonough, nominee for secretary of veterans affairs
- Linda Thomas-Greenfield, nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (not yet available)
- Cecilia Rouse, nominee for chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (not yet available)
What We’re Reading
- CNN: Impeachment trial date will give more time to confirm Biden Cabinet
- The New York Times: Biden Seeks to Define His Presidency by an Early Emphasis on Equity
- The Washington Post: Obama’s early days were full of legislative wins. Biden may not have that chance.