February 24, 2021: Two Senate committees postponed scheduled votes on Neera Tanden’s nomination for director of the Office of Management and Budget.
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 Linda Thomas-Greenfield to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday by a vote of 78-20.
- The Senate also confirmed Tom Vilsack to serve as secretary of agriculture on Tuesday by a vote of 92-7. Six Republicans voted against his confirmation: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also voted against Vilsack, marking the first time a Democrat or independent who caucuses with Democrats voted against a Biden nominee.
- Three committee hearings are scheduled Wednesday:
- The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is holding a second day of hearings for Debra Haaland for secretary of the interior.
- The Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing for Xavier Becerra for secretary of health and human services.
- The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship will vote on Isabel Guzman’s nomination for administrator of the Small Business Administration.
- The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs postponed a planned vote on Neera Tanden’s nomination for director of the Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday. The Washington Post reported that the Senate Budget Committee, which was also scheduled to vote on Tanden’s nomination on Wednesday, also planned to delay their vote.
- Drew Tipton, a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, granted a preliminary injunction blocking the Biden administration’s 100-day moratorium on deportations. The injunction applies to all states. Tipton is a Trump appointee.
- Biden is expected to sign an executive order on Wednesday calling for the review of global supply chains for computer chips, large-capacity batteries used in electric vehicles, pharmaceuticals and related products, and critical minerals.
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.
Five weeks after their respective inaugurations, Trump had nine of these secretaries confirmed and Biden had seven.
What We’re Reading
- The New York Times: With Biden Behind on Confirmations, Senators Are Overloaded With Hearings
- Politico: How the White House botched the Neera Tanden nomination
- The Washington Post: Biden shifts his operation to DNC ahead of 2022 midterm elections