Transition Tracker: February 10, 2021: Garland’s confirmation hearing scheduled to begin Feb. 22

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.

  • One committee hearing is scheduled Wednesday:
  • The Senate Budget Committee is holding a confirmation hearing for Neera Tanden for director of the Office of Management and Budget. This is the second of two confirmation hearings for Tanden. Read Tuesday’s edition to learn more about Tanden’s confirmation process.
  • The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works advanced the nomination of Michael Regan for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency by a vote of 14-6 on Tuesday.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing for U.S. attorney general on February 22-23, 2021. Garland will testify on the first day, while outside witnesses will speak on the second day.


  • The White House said on Tuesday that the Biden administration planned to keep the U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. The Trump administration moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018.
  • Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), along with four Republican House members and the Illinois Republican Party, requested Biden allow U.S. Attorney John Lausch to continue in his role investigating public corruption charges in Illinois.
    • Biden announced on Tuesday that he was asking all Trump-appointed U.S. attorneys to resign with two exceptions.
    • The two attorneys allowed to stay on are David Weiss and John Durham, who are investigating Hunter Biden’s taxes and the FBI probe into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, respectively.  
  • Federal judge Drew Tipton, who sits on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, extended an order blocking Biden’s moratorium on deportations for two more weeks. Tipton was appointed by Trump in 2020.
  • The Justice Department said on Tuesday that it would continue efforts to have WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange extradited from the United Kingdom.

Transition in Context

The following chart compares the pace of Senate confirmations for the main Cabinet members—the 15 agency heads in the presidential line of succession—following the inaugurations of Presidents Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D). It does not include Cabinet-rank officials that vary by administration.

Twenty days after their respective inaugurations, Trump and Biden both had six of these secretaries confirmed.

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