The White House is contemplating simply not filling some positions that require Senate confirmation after struggling to fill hundreds of top agency jobs that remain open.
Nearly a year after President Donald Trump was sworn into office, the number of nominations sent to the Senate has lagged far behind recent administrations.
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Of 624 top administration positions requiring Senate confirmation, 250 positions have no nominee, according to a tracker maintained by the Partnership for Public Service.
These positions include deputy and assistant secretaries, chief financial officers, general counsel, heads of agencies, ambassadors and other leadership positions in government. The tracker does not include judicial nominees.
Through Dec. 14, the Trump administration had 259 of its nominees confirmed and 212 are awaiting confirmation, the tracker shows.
At the same point in the first year of the Obama administration, 418 nominees had been confirmed and another 194 were awaiting confirmation, it shows.
“Look, we've been focused on filling positions as quickly as possible,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in response to a question about the slow pace of nominations.
“But at the same time, the president has said before he doesn't think that every single position in the government needs to be filled,” Sanders said. “He's going to cut back on some of those positions.”
Among the 250 positions for which there is no nominee are undersecretary at the Department of Education, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, deputy secretary at the Department of the Treasury, and administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.
Sanders’s remarks come the same week a third judicial nominee was withdrawn from consideration after a botched appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Still, the president's judicial selection process has led to a “historic pace” of confirmations, including 12 circuit court judges and a Supreme Court justice, Sanders said.
“Every administration has individuals that don't go all the way through the process,” Sanders said. “We've had 60 [judicial] nominees and only three that haven't gone through this process,” she said.
Looking at Cabinet and agency nominations, a total of 14 have failed so far in the Trump administration, according to the tracker from the Partnership for Public Service.
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