The confirmation hearings of several of President Trump’s nominations to his Cabinet have illustrated clearly the tumultuous bipartisan division occurring on Capitol Hill currently. While many of the candidates have been receiving mass amounts of attention through the press, the Current wanted to give you a cheat sheet into what a few of the cabinet positions encompass, who the nominees are and how the confirmation hearings occurred. (Information gathered from the New York Times)
SECRETARY OF STATE: REX TILLERSON, Former Exxon Mobile CEO
The Secretary of State serves as the President’s chief advisor on foreign affairs. Tillerson received the most negative votes (56-43) out of any Secretary of State nominated in the history of America. Trump supports Tillerson because of his belief that the new Secretary of State will be tough and strategic when it comes to dealing with foreign affairs.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: JEFF SESSIONS, Republican Senator from Alabama
The Attorney General leads the Department of Justice and is known as the chief lawyer and chief law enforcement officer in the country. Several members of the Senate spoke against Sessions because of his poor record dealing with racial relations in Alabama. Elizabeth Warren was formally silenced during the hearing while reading a speech written by Coretta Scott King. His nomination was secured by a 52 to 47 vote. (A member of the Senate himself, Sessions could not vote.)
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: TOM PRICE
Representative from Georgia orthopedic surgeon originally from Atlanta The Health and Human Services Secretary is primarily concerned with the health of the public. Part of his job will be helping Trump to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. While Republicans praise Price for his experience and knowledge in the medical field as well as the medical insurance field, Democrats characterized him as having bad judgement while trading pharmaceutical and medical stock while simultaneously affecting health care policy in Congress. He was voted in with a vote of 52 to 47.
EDUCATION SECRETARY: BETSY DEVOS
Wealthy member of the Republican Party, little to no experience in public education The Secretary of Education advises the President on public policy addressing education through the country. After having received ample media attention from her responses to questions proposed on seemingly basic principles of the school system during the education committee hearing, DeVos received mass criticism on her ability to do the job for which she had been nominated. After Republicans began to cross party lines not in favor of DeVos, the vote ended up split 50 to 50 in the Senate. Vice President Mike Pence, who presides over the Senate, had to break the tie for the first time in American history.