How many nominees will the Senate confirm by the time the president-elect takes office on Friday?
When President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office on Friday, he may have a few members of his Cabinet in place alongside him. But the bulk of Trump’s nominees—including most of his economic team—won’t be joining him for several days or even weeks.
Three days before the inauguration, the Senate has not scheduled a single confirmation vote for Trump’s Cabinet. On Wednesday, retired General James Mattis became the first nominee to win approval at the committee level when the Senate Armed Services Committee voted overwhelmingly to recommend his confirmation as defense secretary. Senate Republicans still hope to confirm members of Trump’s national-security team on Friday, and the likeliest to receive votes are Mattis, retired General John Kelly as homeland security secretary, and Representative Mike Pompeo as CIA director. Elaine Chao, the nominee for transportation secretary, could also win Senate approval on Friday. So could Ben Carson, Trump’s pick for housing secretary, though he is considered less likely to get a Friday vote. None of the five have generated significant opposition from Democrats, and all of them more or less sailed through their confirmation hearings last week. Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, told reporters on Tuesday that Trump planned to swear in some members of his Cabinet on Friday, “if and when they are confirmed by the Senate.”