Formation of Donald Trump's Cabinet

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As President, Donald Trump has the authority to nominate members of the United States Cabinet to the Senate for confirmation under the Appointments Clause, in Article II, Section II, Clause II of the Constitution.

This article documents the nominated candidates to Trump's Cabinet and their confirmation process, including Senate committee hearings and roll-call votes. They are listed in order of creation of the cabinet position, which is also used as the basis for the presidential line of succession.

The Cabinet

Cabinet of President Donald J. Trump
  Individual elected into office, and does not serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States (all other cabinet members do)
  Individual officially confirmed by the United States Senate
  Individual serving in an acting capacity
  Individual took office with no Senate consent needed

Cabinet members

Office
Date announced / confirmed
Designee Office
Date announced / confirmed
Designee
Seal of the Vice President of the United States.svg

Vice President
Announced July 15, 2016
Took office January 20, 2017
100px
Former Governor
Mike Pence
of Indiana
75px

Secretary of State
Announced March 13, 2018
Took office April 26, 2018
100px
Former CIA Director
Mike Pompeo
of Kansas
US-DeptOfTheTreasury-Seal.svg

Secretary of the Treasury
Announced November 30, 2016
Took office February 13, 2017
100px
Former OneWest Bank CEO
Steven Mnuchin
of California
United States Department of Defense Seal.svg

Secretary of Defense
Announced June 18, 2019
Took office July 23, 2019
100px
Former Secretary of the Army
Mark Esper
of Virginia
Seal of the United States Department of Justice.svg

Attorney General
Announced December 7, 2018
Took office February 14, 2019
100px
U.S. Attorney General (1991–1993)
William Barr
of Virginia
Seal of the United States Department of the Interior.svg

Secretary of the Interior
Announced December 15, 2018
Took office January 2, 2019[n 1]
100px
Former Deputy Secretary of the Interior
David Bernhardt
of Virginia
US-DeptOfAgriculture-Seal2.svg

Secretary of Agriculture
Announced January 18, 2017
Took office April 25, 2017
100px
Former Governor
Sonny Perdue
of Georgia
US-DeptOfCommerce-Seal.svg

Secretary of Commerce
Announced November 30, 2016
Took office February 28, 2017
100px
Former WL Ross & Co. CEO
Wilbur Ross
of Florida
75px

Secretary of Labor
Announced July 12, 2019
Took office July 20, 2019
100px
Deputy Secretary of Labor
Patrick Pizzella
of Virginia
75px

Secretary of Health and Human Services
Announced November 13, 2017
Took office January 29, 2018
100px
Former Deputy Secretary of HHS
Alex Azar
of Indiana
US-DeptOfHUD-Seal.svg

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Announced December 5, 2016
Took office March 2, 2017
100px
Former Neurosurgeon
Ben Carson
of Florida
US-DeptOfTransportation-Seal.svg

Secretary of Transportation
Announced November 29, 2016
Took office January 31, 2017
100px
Former Secretary of Labor
Elaine Chao
of Kentucky
Seal of the United States Department of Energy.svg

Secretary of Energy
Announced December 14, 2016
Took office March 2, 2017
100px
Former Governor
Rick Perry
of Texas
US-DeptOfEducation-Seal.svg

Secretary of Education
Announced November 23, 2016
Took office February 7, 2017
100px
Former Michigan GOP Chair
Betsy DeVos
of Michigan
Seal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.svg

Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Announced May 18, 2018
Took office July 30, 2018
100px
Former USD (P&R)
Robert Wilkie
of North Carolina
Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security.svg

Secretary of Homeland Security
Announced April 7, 2019
Took office April 11, 2019
100px
CBP Commissioner
Kevin McAleenan
of Hawaii

Cabinet-level officials

Office
Date announced / confirmed
Designee Office
Date announced / confirmed
Designee
US-WhiteHouse-Logo.svg

White House Chief of Staff[n 2]
Announced December 14, 2018
Took office January 2, 2019
100px
Former U.S. Representative
Mick Mulvaney
of South Carolina
US-TradeRepresentative-Seal.svg

United States Trade Representative
Announced January 3, 2017
Took office May 15, 2017
100px
Former Deputy USTR
Robert Lighthizer
of Florida
US-OfficeOfManagementAndBudget-Seal.svg

Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Announced December 16, 2016
Took office February 16, 2017
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.svg

Director of National Intelligence
Announced January 7, 2017
Took office March 16, 2017
100px
Former U.S. Senator
Dan Coats
of Indiana
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency.svg

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Announced March 13, 2018
Took office April 26, 2018[n 3]
100px
Former CIA Deputy Director
Gina Haspel
of Kentucky
Environmental Protection Agency logo.svg

Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency

Announced July 5, 2018
Took office July 9, 2018[n 4]
100px
Former EPA Deputy Administrator
Andrew Wheeler
of Virginia
US-SmallBusinessAdmin-Seal.svg

Administrator of the
Small Business Administration

Announced March 29, 2019
Took office April 13, 2019
100px
SBA General Counsel
Chris Pilkerton
of New York
  1. Bernhardt served as Acting Secretary from January 2, 2019 to April 11, 2019.
  2. Officially Mulvaney carries the title of "Acting White House Chief of Staff", but since the position does not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate, the title "acting" does not impact the authority of the position.[1]
  3. Haspel served as Acting Director from April 26, 2018 to May 21, 2018.
  4. Wheeler served as Acting Administrator from July 9, 2018 to February 28, 2019.
Source: Trump Administration[2] and NPR[3]

Confirmation process

Below is a list of confirmations for Cabinet positions, Cabinet-level positions, and other significant positions that were approved through the Senate between January and May 2017, by a recorded roll-call vote, rather than by a voice vote.

Despite being nominated promptly during the transition period, many cabinet members were unable to take office on Inauguration Day because of delays in the formal confirmation process. As of 8 February 2017, President Trump had fewer cabinet nominees confirmed than any other president except George Washington by the same length of time into his presidency.[4][5] Part of the lateness was ascribed to the delays in submitting background-check paperwork.[6] The last confirmed Cabinet member, Robert Lighthizer, took office as U.S. Trade Representative on May 11, 2017, four months after his nomination.[7]

Timeline


Senate votes

Template:Trump confirmations2

Candidates for the Cabinet positions

After election day, media outlets reported on persons described by various sources as possible appointments to senior positions in the incoming Trump presidency. The number of people which have received media attention as potential cabinet appointees is higher than in most previous presidential elections, partly because the Trump'16 campaign staff (and associated PACs) was significantly smaller and less expensive,[8] thus there are not as many people already expected to receive specific roles in the upcoming Trump administration. In particular, "Trump ha[d] a smaller policy brain trust [policy group] than a new president normally carries"[9] because as an anti-establishment candidate who began his campaign by largely self-funding his way to the Republican party nomination,[10] unlike most previous presidential winners "Trump does not have the traditional cadre of Washington insiders and donors to build out his Cabinet."[11] An additional factor that tends to make the field of potential nominees especially broad, is that unlike most presidential transition teams who select politicians as their appointees, the Trump transition team "has started with a mandate to hire from the private sector [as opposed to the governmental sector] whenever possible."[11]

Until the Trump Administration announces their official cabinet, and those nominees are confirmed by the Senate (where applicable), this page will continue to be updated with new information and potential positions. The membership of the presidential cabinet also tends to evolve during the course of the presidency; turnover often causes individual names to change, and more rarely, creation of new departments and merging/downsizing of existing departments can alter the size of the cabinet.

Secretary of State

Current

Rex Tillerson
Took office February 1, 2017

Secretary of the Treasury

Current

Steven Mnuchin
Took office February 13, 2017

Secretary of Defense

Current

James Mattis
Took office January 20, 2017

Attorney General

Current

Jeff Sessions
Took office February 9, 2017

Secretary of the Interior

Current

Ryan Zinke
Took office March 1, 2017

Secretary of Agriculture

Current

Sonny Perdue
Took office April 25, 2017

Secretary of Commerce

Current

Wilbur Ross
Took office February 28, 2017

Secretary of Labor

Current

Alex Acosta
Took office April 28, 2017

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Current

Eric Hargan (Acting)
Took office October 10, 2017

First succession
Image Name Description
Alex Azar WWSG Photo (cropped).jpg Alex Azar Former Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services[127]
75px Bobby Jindal Former Governor of Louisiana; 2016 presidential candidate[128][129]
Mehmet Oz - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012.jpg Mehmet Oz Cardiothoracic surgeon and television personality[130][128]
75px Rick Santorum Former United States Senator from Pennsylvania[128][129]
75px David Shulkin Secretary of Veterans Affairs[128]
105x105px Seema Verma Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services[128][129]
Previous

Tom Price
February 10, 2017 – September 29, 2017

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Current

Ben Carson
Took office March 2, 2017

Secretary of Transportation

Current

Elaine Chao
Took office January 31, 2017

Secretary of Energy

Current

Rick Perry
Took office March 2, 2017

Secretary of Education

Current

Betsy DeVos
Took office February 7, 2017

Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Current

David Shulkin
Took office February 14, 2017

Secretary of Homeland Security

Current

Elaine Duke (Acting)
Took office July 31, 2017

First succession
Image Name Description
75px Mike McCaul Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee; U.S. Representative from Texas's 10th congressional district[172]
75px Kirstjen Nielsen White House Deputy Chief of Staff[173][174][175]
Previous

John F. Kelly
January 20, 2017 – July 31, 2017

Candidates for Cabinet-level officials

Cabinet-level officials have positions that are considered to be of Cabinet level, but which are not part of the Cabinet. Which exact positions are considered part of the presidential cabinet, can vary with the president. The CIA and FEMA were cabinet-level agencies under Bill Clinton, but not George W. Bush. The head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (aka the drug czar) was a cabinet-level position under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, but not under Barack Obama. (Not to be confused with the head of the DEA, who has remained in the org chart underneath the cabinet position held by the Attorney General.) Designation of an agency as being cabinet-level requires[citation needed] that Congress enact legislation, although executive orders unilaterally created by the president can be used to create many other types of position inside the executive branch.[citation needed] Members of the cabinet proper, as well as cabinet-level officials, meet with the president in a room adjacent to the Oval Office.

Vice President

There were dozens of potential running mates for Trump who received media speculation (including several from New York where Trump himself resides). Trump's eventual pick of Governor Mike Pence of Indiana was officially announced on July 16, 2016 and confirmed by acclamation via parliamentary procedure amongst delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016.

White House Chief of Staff

Current

John F. Kelly
Took office July 31, 2017

Previous

Reince Priebus
January 20, 2017-July 28, 2017

United States Trade Representative

Current

Robert Lighthizer
Took office May 15, 2017

Director of National Intelligence

Current

Dan Coats
Took office March 16, 2017

Ambassador to the United Nations

Current

Nikki Haley
Took office January 27, 2017

Director of the Office of Management and Budget

Current

Mick Mulvaney
Took office February 16, 2017

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Current

Mike Pompeo
Took office January 23, 2017

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Current

Scott Pruitt
Took office February 17, 2017

Administrator of the Small Business Administration

Current

Linda McMahon
Took office February 14, 2017

Removal of the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers

On February 8, 2017 President Trump outlined the 24 members of the Cabinet with the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers excluded.[196][197] In addition to the chair, there are two other members of the council (also appointed by the president), as well as a staff of economists, researchers, and statisticians.

See also

Notes

  1. The sources usually indicate this is specifically sitting U.S. Rep. Duncan D. Hunter age 39, not to be confused with his father the former U.S. Rep. and former 2008 presidential candidate Duncan Lee Hunter age 68, who previously held the exact same elected office before retiring from the seat (his son thereafter winning and becoming his replacement). Both the father and the son are being considered for potential roles within the Trump administration in defense-related positions,[51] as both are veterans (war on terror and war in Vietnam respectively), and furthermore both served on the House Armed Services Committee during their respective tenures.
  2. As of December 9, 2016, multiple media reports surfaced that Cathy McMorris Rodgers was anonymously leaked as being Trump's decision for United States Secretary of the Interior; according to Reuters.com she had been picked,[69][70] and according to Bloomberg.com she had been offered the role,[71] but most other news reports were slightly more cautious. Rodgers was most commonly called the reported pick[72][73] or the expected pick,[74][75][76][77][78] or similar phrases by the media. Some smaller media outfits said only that she was the likely pick.[79][80] CNN was the most cautious, only stating in passing that Rodgers was the leading contender,[81] albeit in an article that was more about discussing the various influences upon the vetting-process rather than being solely concentrating on the latest updates as to the status of the role itself. At least one media entity, The News & Observer (online since 1994), published a report during the afternoon of December 9 questioning the coverage of Rodgers as the expected pick, stating that an anonymous official -- presumably different from the one that had leaked the Rodgers scoop earlier -- with the Trump transition team has specifically refuted that Rodgers was the expected pick, and that quote "No offer has been made... still looking at candidates."[82]

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