Bringing The World Home To You

© 2022 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

His Cabinet Still Unconfirmed, Biden Looks At Plan B For Early Days In Office

President-elect Joe Biden plans to name a slate of career officials as acting heads of agencies until the Senate confirms his picks.
Alex Wong
/
Getty Images
President-elect Joe Biden plans to name a slate of career officials as acting heads of agencies until the Senate confirms his picks.

Former President Barack Obama had six Cabinet members confirmed by the Senate before his Inauguration Day in 2009. President Trump had two. But when President-elect Joe Biden takes office next week, it's unclear whether he'll have any Cabinet members in place.

After he won the election, Biden rolled out his picks for top officials quickly. But between Trump's protracted political fight over election results and the future control of the Senate up in the air until the Jan. 5 Georgia runoffs, the Republican-controlled Senate was slow to schedule hearings for them.

The first is slated for Friday, when the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hears from Avril Haines, Biden's pick for director of national intelligence. Then on Tuesday, the day before inauguration, the Senate has scheduled hearings for four nominees: retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin for defense secretary, Janet Yellen for Treasury, Alejandro Mayorkas for homeland security and Antony Blinken for state.

Biden plans to appoint acting agency heads when he takes office next week, a transition official said, drawing mainly from the ranks of career civil servants.

Now, the rush to consider and vote on his Cabinet will collide with Biden's push for a massive coronavirus relief package — as well as congressional investigations into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and the impeachment process for Trump.

"I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation," Biden said in a statement on Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.
More Stories