PODCAST: What Happens When Empty Desks Run the Government


President Donald Trump blamed Democrats June 5 for “taking forever” to approve his administration’s appointees in a tweet, saying that “They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS!”

But Trump hasn't moved the quickest of the last few presidents on vetting and getting appointees through the confirmation process—in fact, he is the slowest of the last four presidents, according to data collected by the Partnership for Public Service. Of the 559 key positions requiring Senate confirmation, Trump has pushed 40 through the Senate to full confirmation, formally nominated 63 and name-dropped another 25—however, without a formal nomination.

As of June 6, there are still 431 key positions that haven’t been filled throughout his administration. So how can agencies answer Trump’s calls for deregulation when they have little to no authority or manpower to do so?

In the latest episode of "Parts Per Billion," we sit down with Mallory Barg Bulman, an expert on government efficiency at the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, and ask what agencies expecting major overhaul, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, can expect when few political appointees are in office to implement the president's policies.