Hundreds Of Top Government Positions Remain Unfilled
President Donald Trump has yet to nominate individuals for over 400 key government positions requiring Senate confirmation, including the surgeon general and 93 U.S. attorneys.
A collaboration between The Washington Post and The Partnership for Public Service shows that, as of Monday afternoon, 442 of 559 key positions requiring Senate confirmation remain unfilled. Just 39 nominees for these positions have been confirmed.
The White House did not return a request for comment as of publication time about the reasoning behind the delay. Ian Prior, a spokesman for the Department of Justice, told The Daily Caller Tuesday that there are no updates on the nomination process for U.S. attorneys.
The lack of nominees has led to cabinet departments being staffed mainly by career bureaucrats. For example, the Department of Agriculture has 13 positions requiring Senate confirmation and just one, the secretary of agriculture, has been filled so far.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has no confirmed nominees for its 11 positions. Mark Andrew Green has been nominated for administrator, but has yet to be confirmed.
The Trump administration has faced some hiccups in the nomination process. The original nominee for Secretary of the Navy, Philip Bilden, withdrew due to conflict-of-interest rules, and the Trump administration has yet to nominate someone else for the role.
Likewise, both of Trump’s nominees for Secretary of the Army have withdrawn from consideration. The first pick, Vincent Viola, pulled out due to conflict-of-interest concerns, and the second pick, Mark Green, withdrew because of “false and misleading attacks.”
The Trump administration has faced longer confirmation times than previous presidents. The Post report says that as of May 20, Trump nominees take an average of 41 days to be confirmed. As of this time during their respective administrations, confirmations took 32 days under former President Barack Obama and 18 days under former President George W. Bush.
Although by this time, Obama had 130 presidential appointments confirmed and the same amount of failed nominations, three, as Trump.
While President Trump said he would “drain the swamp” on the campaign trail, these unfilled positions could pose obstacles to his agenda. TheDC reported that a lack of leadership at the State Department is making it tough for Trump to crack down on Iran or promote religious freedom.
President Trump said in February that “in many cases, we don’t want to fill those jobs.”
A recent Washington Post report, however, highlighted frustration by cabinet secretaries at the lack of nominations. The report quoted a Republican congressman saying that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is “very frustrated.”
“He felt it was much more difficult to operate the department and provide the leadership level that you need to provide,” the Republican House member said according to the Post.
The Post report said that much of the slow pace was due to a nominating process that features the input of many top White House officials, sometimes including Ivanka Trump.