I am writing this as one of Trump’s biggest opponents. Everything Trump ran on during his campaign was everything I was against, but the electoral college decided otherwise. Who should have won the election is up for debate, while electoral college vs. popular vote is a whole different article. When it comes to Trump’s Cabinet picks, some are horrendous like Betsy DeVous, while others aren’t as bad like General “Mad Dog” Mattis.
Confirmation hearings started on Tuesday the 10th and are expected to be completed before Trump’s Inauguration on the 20th. The federal Office of Government Ethics have accused Senate Republicans of rushing confirmations. The Office of Government Ethics has expressed concern over the fact that their office has to complete ethics screenings of all nominees and they have been unable to do so for many of the nominees because of the rushed confirmation hearings.
A hand full of senators have expressed concern over the rushed process with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) having this to say, “The Senate and the American people deserve to know that these Cabinet nominees have a plan to avoid any conflicts of interest, that they’re working on behalf of the American people and not their own bottom line, and that they plan to fully comply with the law.”
This is ridiculous. @realDonaldTrump’s noms can’t drag their feet on ethics paperwork while their Senate friends try to run out the clock.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 7, 2017
According to Ballotpedia the confirmation process has three main steps, starting with Nomination followed by Committee hearings with a full Senate hearing being the last step. Most people would think that the nomination of the cabinet is just the President-elect picking whoever he wants and announcing it but before any list is made, suggestions are taken from congress special interests groups while the White House Office of Presidential Personnel will vet the large list of possible candidates.
Once the nominee is selected, that person must undergo a series of investigations by the FBI, IRS, the Office of Government Ethics and an ethics official from the specific agency to which the nominee will be appointed. The problem with Trump’s cabinet is the fact that many of his picks have never been in public office, making it incredibly difficult for the agencies above to do comprehensive checks.
After the nominee is vetted, they are then passed onto the Senate committee that has oversight of the appointed position. In front of that Senate committee, the nominee will have to answer as many questions as the committee deems necessary. The nominee will be under oath but can deflect questions by claiming they do not know.
Once Trump’s Cabinet picks make it past the Senate committee, they will go in front of the entire Senate to take a vote. Since the new Senate has already been sworn in, Trump’s picks face nearly no opposition since Congress is controlled by Republicans. Those Congress members do not want to upset a soon to be unrestricted President Trump.
This is an incredible time to be apart of United States politics with one of the most liked Presidents leaving office and the most disliked President-elect about to take power. In the end, we can only hope that Trump’s Cabinet will have some serious sway over his temperament and make sure Twitter isn’t where he picks his battles. The next four years will be amazing, no matter what side you are sitting on.