A new year is just around the corner. As 2016 slips into history, it leaves behind a contentious, tumultuous time. Are those contentious and tumultuous times a footnote in history? What will the new year bring?
January 6 ushers in a new Congressional session, the 115th seating of a Congress in the history of the constitutional republic of the United States of America. January 20th is set for the inauguration of the 45th President in the history of the constitutional republic of the United States of America.
With a new President comes a new Cabinet and host of additional appointed positions. As the Cabinet is filled, questions about their background and ability are often raised that reflect the mindset and biases of the person raising the questions.
The focus of relevance to the President’s vision and agenda to accomplish the vision is the reality point. Each nominated candidate has the support of the President and trust that the vision and agenda will be their focus.
What is next?
Once the name of a nominee is submitted for a cabinet-level position, the Senate committees with jurisdiction over the cabinet position conduct a background investigation on the nominee.
After the appropriate investigation, the relevant committee or committees conduct a nomination hearing. At this hearing, the nominee and various stakeholders have the opportunity to testify. The committee then advances the individual’s nomination by a majority vote and forwards the nomination to the full Senate body for approval.
The Senate conducts a floor debate on the nomination and ultimately takes a final vote as to whether or not to confirm the nominee by a majority vote on the Senate floor. Under the current Senate rules, cabinet-level nominations are not subject to filibuster and thus 60 votes are not needed to end debate; only a simple majority is needed to confirm the nomination.
With respect to my personal mindset and biases, I await the first 100 days of the new administration. Their progress towards governing a diverse nation is an important point to evaluate.