CHN: Hearings and confirmations continue on President Biden’s Cabinet picks

Most of President Biden’s nominees to Cabinet-level positions have been approved by Senate committees and are awaiting votes by the full Senate, while a few are still awaiting committee hearings. Seven Cabinet nominees have already been confirmed by the full Senate: Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Feb. 4 approved the nominations of both Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) for Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Cecilia Rouse to lead the Council of Economic Advisers. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Feb. 11 approved both the nominations of Miguel Cardona for the Secretary of Education post and Martin Walsh to be Secretary of Labor. Biden’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Regan, was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on February 9. Also approved in committee were Gina Raimondo for Secretary of Commerce (in the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee) and Jennifer Granholm for Secretary of Energy (in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee).

Tom Vilsack, nominated to be Secretary of Agriculture, cleared the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee on Feb. 2. Neera Tanden, who Biden tapped to lead the Office of Management and Budget, sat before the Budget Committee and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs last week. Neither committee has taken action on her nomination yet.

Xavier Becerra, Biden’s nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, is expected to be voted on by both the HELP Committee and the Finance Committee after hearings in the coming weeks. Merrick Garland, Biden’s pick for Attorney General, is being reviewed by the Judiciary Committee. Deb Haaland, nominated to lead the Interior Department, awaits a hearing in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

All nominees to the cabinet must be confirmed by a simple majority of the Senate.