President Donald Trump tweeted “It is a disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country.”
Well…he hasn’t even hit a month in office yet. Meanwhile:
First, on the subject of “no” votes, Obama’s cabinet nominees faced more than 400 “No” votes. By comparison Trump has faced only about 100 “No” votes for his nominees. He’s still got some more cabinet officers to go before the Senate, but his most controversial ones (Sessions and DeVos) have already had their votes.
But yes indeed…it’s February 13, 2017 today…compared to what?
Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush had their cabinet read by mid-March, but Barack Obama didn’t have his cabinet fully confirmed until the end of April, according to that BBC report. As of the writing of this column, it is mid-February, so Trump has a long way to go to catch up with obstruction to Obama’s Cabinet.
Oh yeah, and then there was the Judge Merrick Garland thing.
And a little more history on cabinet appointment confirmations for you wonks out there:
I’m sure you are thinking this is nothing like the good old days of the Founding Fathers, when cabinet nominations just sailed through Congress. Think again. Writing in the Harvard Law Review, Henry Paul Monaghan describes how President George Washington’s second Chief Justice nominee was not only a member of the original Constitution Convention, but an Associate Supreme Court Justice and acting Chief Justice, seeking a full-time appointment. But he was defeated because he didn’t like the Jay Treaty.
“Indeed, in the first 105 years of American constitutional history, almost one-fourth of the nominees (20 out of 81) failed to win confirmation; others were confirmed only after intense controversy,” Monaghan wrote.
I love history!