Who’s Voting for Donald Trump’s Cabinet Nominees? – The Atlantic
So far, Defense Secretary James Mattis has had the smoothest ride into office, though South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao also saw little resistance. Before Betsy DeVos, Rex Tillerson held the Trump record for the most contentious confirmation, despite the fact that secretaries of state historically have an easier time getting Senate approval.
The close votes on Sessions, DeVos, and Tillerson seem to indicate that the Trump administration has already confirmed its least contentious nominees. The Senate has historically been tough on candidates for attorney general, but Sessions’s margin was one of the narrowest. The Alabama senator abstained from voting for himself.
While many cabinet nominees have historically been confirmed through unanimous consent, recent attorneys general have been put to a full vote. So far, every one of Trump’s picks have faced a roll-call vote.
Here’s how Trump’s nominees fared in the Senate, compared to their predecessors:
The president has seen wide Democratic opposition to his nominees. A handful of Democratic senators have voted against nearly every one of the president’s nominees, though no one has voted against them all.
Leading that pack is Kirsten Gillibrand, of New York, who only cast one affirmative vote—for Nikki Haley, the new ambassador to the United Nations.
On the other end of the spectrum are the Democrats who have remained relatively open to Trump’s appointments. Unsurprisingly, they come from the conservative end of the party, and represent states that have leaned Republican in recent years.
Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, was the sole Democrat to vote for Sessions. So far, he’s opposed only one nominee: DeVos, who didn’t win a single Democratic vote.
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