March 3, 2021: The White House withdrew 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 Finance Committee is considering the nominations of Xavier Becerra for secretary of health and human services and Katherine Tai for U.S. trade representative on Wednesday.
- The Senate confirmed Gina Raimondo for secretary of commerce on Tuesday by a vote of 84-15. Raimondo resigned as governor of Rhode Island, and the state’s lieutenant governor, Dan McKee (D), was sworn into office.
- The Senate also confirmed Cecilia Rouse to chair the Council of Economic Advisers on Tuesday by a vote of 95-4. Four Republicans opposed her confirmation: Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Rick Scott (Fla.), and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.). Rouse is the first Biden nominee that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) voted to confirm.
- The White House announced on Tuesday that Neera Tanden requested to be withdrawn from consideration for director of the Office of Management Budget due to opposition to her nomination. Biden said in a statement that he had accepted her request: “I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration. She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work.”
- Biden said states should prioritize distributing COVID-19 vaccinations to teachers with a goal of every school staff member receiving at least one dose by the end of March. For more information about the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
- Biden has reportedly selected Seth Harris, who served as acting secretary of labor during the Obama administration, to be his top labor adviser. In this capacity, Harris will work with the Domestic Policy Council and National Economic Council.
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.
Six weeks after their respective inaugurations, Trump had 13 of these secretaries confirmed and Biden had 10.
What We’re Reading
- Associated Press: Biden’s Cabinet half-empty after slow start in confirmations
- NBC News: Democrats confront a harsh political choice: Save the filibuster or pass Biden’s agenda
- Politico: Biden prepares blitz of action to prod schools to reopen