Since President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, Cabinet nominations by the Biden administration have been consistently running through the U.S. Senate. As of March 11, 13 members of Biden’s Cabinet have been officially confirmed.
Trevor Mannion, assistant professor of political science, said the vital players in a Cabinet differ between presidential administrations and focus on pressing issues.
“The important appointments in the Cabinet are not consistent, but are based more on the campaign promises made by the president in office,” Mannion said. “Of course, some Cabinet positions are of constant importance such as the vice president and Secretary of State, but if we consider Biden and his campaign promises, then some members of particular importance would be the Secretary of Energy and, of course, because COVID-19 still not conquered, the Secretary of Health and Human Services as well as Labor in attempts to reopen the economy and get people working.”
Mannion also said there have been some obstacles in Biden’s Cabinet confirmation process, and he compared it to the progress of the Cabinet process for President Donald J. Trump’s administration at the same time in his presidency.
“Neera Tanden has dropped out of the process because of historical tweets which bashed both Republicans and Democrats and put her on thin ice,” Mannion said. “Two things to note particularly are that gridlock and polarization have slowed the confirmation process as well as other priorities for the Biden administration. This pace is similar to Trump’s. Most of the more important positions have been filled (vice president, Secretary of State, Treasury, Defense, etc.) but the remaining offices key to Biden are the heads of Health and Human Services and Labor which have yet to be filled.”
Carroll Wood, sophomore chemistry major, emphasized the importance of Biden’s nominations to the Cabinet.
“Biden’s nominations are important because his candidates could help provide background reasoning to Biden’s plan,” Wood said. “This could affect the trajectory of the presidency by providing the press and public means for assumption, which is the kickstart for chaos.”
Miguel Esparza, freshman photography major, mentioned the diversity of Biden’s nominations.
“I have noticed that there is a lot of diversity in the Cabinet so far,” Esparza said. “I am excited to see what Marcia Fudge will bring to the table and hopefully Matty Walsh is confirmed as Secretary of Labor with his experience as a union leader. It seems like there is a good base for actual progress in this Cabinet.”
Three more members of Biden’s Cabinet are expected to be confirmed by March 12, bringing the number up to 16 confirmations out of 23.