Senate Judiciary Committee considers Garland’s nomination for AG

March 1, 2021: The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Merrick Garland for attorney general.

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 will vote on the nomination on Miguel Cardona for secretary of education on Monday. The Senate will also vote to invoke cloture on the nomination of Gina Raimondo for secretary of commerce.


  • Biden announced his support for Amazon warehouse workers’ efforts to unionize in Alabama, although he did not explicitly name the company in his statement.
  • Biden is virtually meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to discuss immigration and economic issues and the coronavirus on Monday.
  • The Biden administration announced Sunday that it was resuming peace negotiations with the Taliban.
  • The Biden administration issued sanctions against associates of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia for their involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A declassified intelligence report released on Friday said bin Salman approved Khashoggi’s capture or death. Biden declined to directly sanction him. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Sunday, “We believe there [are] more effective ways to make sure this doesn’t happen again and to also be able to leave room to work with the Saudis on areas where there is mutual agreement.”
  • The House passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on Saturday. The $1.9 trillion bill will advance to the Senate for consideration. For more information about the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Transition in Context: Who could potentially replace Neera Tanden as nominee for OMB director?

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said last week that committee votes on Neera Tanden’s nomination for director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) were delayed because it did not look like she had the votes.

Although White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration would continue to fight for Tanden’s nomination, the White House is reportedly considering alternative candidates. Here’s a rundown of some of the potential replacements:

  • Shalanda Young is a former staff director for the House Appropriations Committee. She has a confirmation hearing this week for her nomination for OMB deputy director.
  • Gene Sperling was previously in consideration for the position. He was director of the National Economic Council in both the Clinton and Obama administration.
  • Ann O’Leary was California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) former chief of staff. O’Leary worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
  • Martha Coven was the associate director for Education, Income Maintenance, and Labor in the OMB during the Obama administration. She was also involved in Biden’s search committee for the OMB.
  • Sarah Bianchi was a deputy assistant to the president for economic policy in the Obama administration and longtime Biden policy aide.

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