While President Donald Trump still has hundreds of key positions to fill that will shape his next four years in office, he has named everyone he wants to serve in his Cabinet, and they’re getting closer to being entirely confirmed by the day.
Trump has 24 official members of his Cabinet, and the Senate has so far confirmed 20 of them. In the months since Trump took office, two high-level hires withdrew from the confirmation process, and one senior adviser resigned.
We’ll keep this list updated as Trump announces the rest of the senior leadership positions, and the Senate confirms or rejects them. Here’s what we know so far:
Labor Secretary: Alexander Acosta (pending Senate confirmation)
Obama administration counterparts: Hilda L. Solis, Thomas Perez
Duties: enforce labor laws, including ones involving unions and other business-citizen relations
UPDATE 2/15: Top Republicans in the Senate encouraged the White House to withdraw Andrew Puzder’s nomination, due to concerns that he wouldn’t receive the necessary votes for confirmation. Critics, notably labor unions, were concerned that Puzder would ‘betray American workers‘ because he’s said in the past that machines are the answer to rising wages — not raising the minimum wage. Some women also expressed disgust that Puzder said he “like[s] beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis,” who star in the ads for Carl’s Jr., the fast food chain Puzder heads as CKE CEO. He dropped out of the running on February 15, a day before his confirmation hearing.
Reactions to Acosta: After Puzder’s polarizing pick, many on both sides of the aisle view Acosta as a sensible choice for the job. The AFL-CIO trade union said Acosta’s nomination deserves “serious consideration.” The Senate has confirmed him for other roles three times, so he’s expected to sail through again.
National Security Adviser: Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster
Obama administration counterparts: James Jones, Thomas Donilon, Susan Rice
Duties: Provide the president’s daily national security briefing; coordinate the administration’s foreign policy, intelligence, and military efforts
UPDATE 2/13: On February 13, Trump’s first National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, resigned after admitting that he may have discussed loosening American sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the US before Trump was sworn into office, despite previously insisting he hadn’t. Flynn had been criticized for being anti-Islamic, for his questionable business ties to Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian president, for what some saw as his overly positive views toward Russia, and for promoting conspiracy theories on Twitter during Trump’s campaign. He was also accused of being too hawkish when he was DIA director, which is why a former Pentagon official alleged Flynn was forced out of the agency.
Reactions to McMaster: As a leading military scholar who’s well-respected by his troops and known for pushing back on authority, McMaster is seen as a solid choice to replace Flynn, whose appointment was mired by controversy. Even Democrats praised the pick, calling McMaster “brilliant.”
Supreme Court Justice: Neil Gorsuch (confirmed)
Reactions: While Republicans applauded the choice, many Democrats came out in opposition, saying they would vote against Gorsuch. Democrats have enough votes to filibuster Gorsuch, and the GOP is poised to make a historic rule change that would allow them to approve the pick with a simple majority — an option known as going “nuclear.”