And what’s as fascinating is that even among the picks that appeared headed for tough seas now look more likely to get confirmed.
Take Neera Tanden, Biden’s decide to run the Office of Management and Budget. Tanden’s nomination was met with widespread skepticism
due, at the very least partly, to her lengthy history of tweets attacking senators by identify. Her nomination appeared much more imperiled when Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vermont), who had been on the receiving finish of plenty of Tanden’s barbs, ascended to the chairmanship of the Budget Committee — which is charged with holding her affirmation listening to.
And but, whereas Tanden’s hearings over the past few days haven’t been easy on her
, she seems to have expressed sufficient remorse about her previous actions to fulfill Sanders and assure she will get out of committee and onto the ground for a full Senate vote. With Democrats in charge of the Senate, that nearly ensures she is confirmed.
(It’s value noting right here that Senate Democrats’ 2013 decision
to alter the foundations to permit presidential appointees to be confirmed by a easy majority has radically modified the calculus of who presidents decide and why. It’s additionally made nominees’ possibilities of affirmation far increased if their social gathering controls the Senate.)
With Tanden probably having run the affirmation gauntlet, there is not now an apparent Biden nominee who will be part of the ignominious checklist I discussed above. Which is a outstanding turnaround from Axios reporting just after the 2020 election
that recommended some Democrats had been advising Biden to select a “sacrificial lamb” nominee to a) hand Republicans a win and b) guarantee protected passage of his different nominees. (Sidebar: This was at all times a horrible concept, as I wrote at the time
The final of probably the most high-profile Cabinet appointees but to be confirmed is Merrick Garland as lawyer common. Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee introduced that it will hold Garland’s confirmation hearing February 22 and 23
with a committee vote on the nomination set for March 1. While Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court again in 2016 was blocked by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, there was little or no indication that Garland can have any main issues in successful affirmation to the AG submit — particularly with Democrats now in charge of the Senate.
Republicans have, in line with a recent Los Angeles Times story,
turned their consideration as an alternative to Xavier Becerra, Biden’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services. (Becerra beforehand served because the lawyer common of California and held a seat within the US House.)
“The GOP is fixated on rejecting President Biden’s decide to helm the Department of Health and Human Services, however not for the kind of private failings that sometimes doom early nominees. It is Becerra’s perceived political and coverage sins that are fueling the bid to dam him. His California credentials aren’t serving to in a Senate the place Republicans don’t have any scarcity of hostility towards the state, significantly after Becerra led the submitting of greater than 100 lawsuits towards the Trump administration.
“Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) just lately ripped into the nominee on the Senate flooring, calling Becerra a ‘famously partisan’ abortion advocate who’s unqualified for the job. Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford referred to as Becerra’s coverage pursuits ‘weird,’ accusing the California lawyer common of ‘encouraging the dying of youngsters.’ Sen. John Thune of South Dakota stated Becerra is on the ‘excessive left.'”
Becerra’s affirmation listening to has but to be scheduled by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. (The committee is chaired by Washington Sen. Patty Murray
.) But for all of Republicans’ bluster about blocking Becerra, it is necessary to keep in mind that until and till a Democratic senator says they may vote towards Becerra (or another Biden Cabinet decide), he could be confirmed by the Democratic majority.
The grain of salt in all of that is that we are lower than a month into Biden’s presidency. And that there are nonetheless nine “core” Cabinet nominees who remain unconfirmed
But there is not any query that the Cabinet affirmation course of has gone smoother than even Biden — no stranger to Senate affirmation fights — might have even hoped. So far, at the very least.