Every single one of President Joe Biden’s initial nominees for Cabinet secretary positions across the federal government have now been confirmed, and the Biden administration has reached this milestone faster than the Trump administration had a full slate of Senate-confirmed departmental chiefs in place at all. Unlike Biden, Trump had to swap out his pick for Labor Secretary in February of 2017 when nominee Andrew Puzder withdrew. Trump only had his whole initial slate of Cabinet Secretaries confirmed at the end of the first April of his term.
— Kevin Robillard (@Robillard) March 23, 2021
Biden’s Cabinet secretary positions have received an overall average of 73 votes from the 100-member Senate — which is higher than the overall average of 70 Senate votes that Trump’s nominees, when they came up for a vote, received. Biden’s nominees for the positions of Attorney General, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of Defense all garnered at least 70 votes from the Senate, and with the chamber currently split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, these figures include sizable levels of support from across the aisle.
Biden transition team spokesman Andrew Bates commented as follows:
‘In line with his commitment to bring Americans together, President Biden chose tested nominees who respect the Senate’s role in this process and whose qualifications and character are recognized by leaders and experts across the political spectrum. Close engagement with senators and advocacy groups has been at the heart of his effort to earn confirmations, and that has started immediately and been sustained after each nominee is announced.’
The high levels of Senate support for Biden’s Cabinet nominees reflect, notably, high levels of documented support for the recently enacted $1.9 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package, which includes provisions like an expanded child tax credit and direct relief checks for many Americans. Overall support for the package has repeatedly hit 70 percent, including in a POLITICO/ Morning Consult survey released just last week, which is a level of support for a key policy initiative that Trump could likely only ever dream of. The resounding support for Biden’s agenda suggests that Republicans could have to explain to voters ahead of the 2022 midterm elections why every single GOP’er in Congress voted against the aid.
As the midterms approach, five Republican Senators who’d be on the ballot in 2022 have already announced that they’re not running for re-election, opening up opportunities for potential Democratic pick-ups. At present, Democrats control the Senate because tie-breaking is the responsibility of Vice President Kamala Harris, leaving Dems with 51 votes overall, as needed.