Wednesday, December 14

Trump Administration Cabinet Selections / Nominations

The tradition of the Cabinet dates back to the beginnings of the Presidency itself. Established in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, the Cabinet's role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member's respective office.

The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments — the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General. 21 of the positions require a Senate confirmation.

In order of succession to the Presidency:

Vice President of the United States
Mike Pence

Department of State

  • Rex Tillerson - CEO, Exxon Mobil

Tillerson will likely face a tough fight in the Senate, where some Republicans have said they are worried about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tillerson has worked
around the globe as chief executive of Exxon Mobil.

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Department of the Treasury

  • Steve Mnuchin - Banker, former Trump campaign finance chairman

According to people familiar with the matter, Trump is planning to name investor and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary, opting for an industry insider with no government experience to helm the agency that serves as the backbone of the nation’s financial system.

Department of Defense

  • Gen. James Mattis - Retired 4-star General

Mattis, a retired Marine general and former senior military officer, led operations across the Middle East. To take the job, Mattis will need Congress to pass new legislation to bypass a federal law that states secretaries of defense must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years.

Department of Justice

  • Jeff Sessions - Senator from Alabama

Sessions, 69, was Trump’s first endorser in the Senate and quickly became the then-candidate’s chief resource on policy. Known for his hard-line views on immigration, the fourth-term senator has been dogged by accusations of racism throughout his career. In 1986, he was denied a federal judgeship after former colleagues testified before the Senate.

Department of the Interior

  • Ryan Zinke - Montana congressman

Zinke campaigned for his House seat on a platform of achieving North American energy independence. He sits on the House Natural Resources Committee as well as the Armed Services Committee.

Department of Agriculture - Names floated for consideration so far:

  • Sam Brownback - Kansas governor

Trump promised big income-tax cuts while campaigning. Brownback slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 in hopes of stimulating Kansas's economy.

  • Chuck Conner - CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives has advocated giving undocumented immigrants who work in the agriculture industry permanent legal status.

  • Sonny Perdue - Former Georgia governor

  • Sid Miller - Texas agricultural commissioner

An adviser to Trump during the elections, made waves with a tweet weeks ago in which Hillary Clinton was called a "c--t." It was soon deleted and blamed on a “third-party vendor.”

  • Tim Huelskamp - Outgoing Kansas congressman

A member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who repeatedly clashed with Republican House leadership, Huelskamp lost his August primary to a local physician.

  • Dave Heineman- Former Nebraska governor

Department of Commerce

  • Wilbur Ross - Founder WL Ross & Co

Trump has nominated Wilbur Ross who is the Founder of the investment firm WL Ross & Co.
Ross is a venture capitalist who has focused on buying businesses in distress.

Department of Labor

  • Andrew Puzder - CEO, CKE Restaurants

Puzder has sharply criticized raising the federal minimum wage to $15, warning it would increase costs for consumers and lead to fewer jobs.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • Tom Price - Georgia congressman

Trump’s seriousness in carrying through on his “repeal” pledge is evident from his choice of health secretary: House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), a champion of the House GOP’s efforts to abolish the law and replace it with free-market health policy ideas. Price also has wanted to convert Medicaid to state block grants and to redefine Medicare by removing older Americans from the plan and giving them money towards private health plans.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • Ben Carson - Retired neurosurgeon

Carson — who ran against Trump in the wide field of Republican presidential primary candidates and has never held political office — is the president-elect’s highest profile African American supporter and confidant.

Department of Transportation

  • Elaine Chao - Former labor secretary

Chao became the first Asian American female Cabinet member in U.S. history when she became President George W. Bush’s labor secretary. She is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Department of Energy

  • Rick Perry - Former Texas governor

Perry, who ran for president for the past two election cycles, is likely to shift the department away from renewable energy and toward fossil fuels, whose production he championed as governor while serving for 14 years.

Department of Education

  • Betsy DeVos - Chairman of American Federation for Children, a pro-school-voucher group

DeVos, a conservative activist and billionaire philanthropist, has pushed forcefully for private school voucher programs nationwide.

Department of Veterans Affairs - The following name has been floated in consideration:
the new VA head will need to deliver on Trump’s promise to revamp the agency, which may include privatizing parts of the veterans health care system.

Jeff Miller - Florida congressman

Scott Brown - Former Massachusetts senator
“I’m not competing with anybody. I think I’m the best person, but there are some tremendous people out there. I don’t look at it as a competition,” Brown told reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower on Nov. 21 after he met with the president-elect.

Mitt Romney - Former Republican presidential nominee
Romney is also under consideration for secretary of state.

Department of Homeland Security

  • Gen. John F. Kelly - Retired Marine general, former U.S. Southern Command chief

Kelly retired in February as chief of U.S. Southern Command (which oversees military operations in Central and South America). He has clashed with the Obama administration over women in combat and plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The following positions have the status of Cabinet-rank:

White House Chief of Staff
Reince Priebus

Environmental Protection Agency

  • Scott Pruitt - Oklahoma attorney general

Pruitt, who has written that the debate on climate change is “far from settled,” is part of a coalition of state attorneys general suing the agency over the administration’s Clean Power Plan.

Office of Management & Budget - The following names have been floated so far:

  • Mick Mulvaney - South Carolina congressman

  • Gary Cohn - CEO, Goldman Sachs

  • David Malpass -Transition senior economic advisor

United States Trade Representative - The following name has been floated in consideration:

  • Dan DiMicco - Former CEO, Nucor

United States Ambassador to the United Nations

  • Nikki Haley - South Carolina governor

Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has little foreign policy experience but holds Republican mainstream foreign policy views, including opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement.

Council of Economic Advisers

Small Business Administration

  • Linda McMahon - Co-founder of the professional wrestling franchise WWE

Central Intelligence Agency Director - 

  • Michael Pompeo - Kansas congressman

Pompeo is widely respected for his intelligence but also seen as a fierce partisan on polarizing issues including the deaths of U.S. personnel in Benghazi and the leaks of Edward Snowden.

Senior Counselor, Chief Strategist - Stephen K. Bannon

National Security Adviser - Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn

White House Counsel - Donald McGahn

Senior Policy Advisor - Stephen Miller

The Obama Administrations cabinet can be reviewed here

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