Donald Trump, like all presidents before him, is filling his cabinet and administration with people who will carry out his ideas of government. But his nominations are not being filled quickly enough and he says that the Democrats are to blame.
If President Trump wants to place blame, all he has to do is look in the mirror. The Republican-controlled Senate has confirmed 14 out of 34 nominations that have been made by the president. This seems to be on pace as each nominee must go before a Senate sub-committee before their nomination is brought to a vote in the full Senate.
If Democrats were the obstructionists that Trump claims they are, then there would not be any confirmations.
The biggest obstructionist to filling positions in the administration seems to be President Trump himself, for two reasons. First, Trump has not made all of the necessary nominations for his administration.
According to the Washington Post, the president is responsible for making 1,242 nominations that require Senate approval. Of those, 549 are considered key positions in the government.These include the Cabinet, ambassadors, under-secretaries, and general counsels among other positions. Trump has only made 34 nominations out of the 549 key government positions in his administration.
The second problem that Trump faces is the people he chooses for positions in his administration. Many of the nominees either have little experience in the fields that they are now expected to lead, or are directly opposed to the missions of their organizations.
For example, Betsy DeVos is our new Secretary of Education. And as you would expect from the women leading the federal government agency designed to enhance public schools, she has no experience. Oh, that’s not what you expect? Well, that is what we have. As a matter of fact, Betsy DeVos has spent her life promoting charter school programs.
Let us not forget Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Not only does Pruitt have no experience in environmental protection, in his previous position as the Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt sued the EPA 12 times over the Clean Air and Water Acts and its effects on business.
In his 15 minute address to EPA employees, Pruitt pledged to protect, the marketplace, economy, industry and, oh yeah, the environment. Tellingly, the word “climate” never left his lips.
And the list goes on and on. You have Rex Tillerson, former ExxonMobil CEO, who is now Secretary of State and Linda McMahon, former president and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, who is now Administrator for the Small Business Administration.
In all honesty, Trump should have trouble getting these nominees approved. At least those who do not have the qualifications for the job. This should not be a partisan issue. Either the nominees have experience and are capable of performing their job or they are not.
Democratic Senators have given some push-back to some of Trump’s nominees, while Republicans are sticking to party lines. But now more than ever we need to reach across party lines.
Senators from both parties must say no to inexperienced nominees. Pressure your representatives, write to them, call them, go and see them at town hall meetings. Let your voice be heard on these nominees who will do damage to the positions to which they have been nominated.