Biden in danger of having no confirmed Cabinet secretaries on first day of presidency
By Paul Kane, Karoun Demirjian and Anne Gearan
Biden’s incoming administration is in danger of not having a single Cabinet official confirmed on Inauguration Day, upsetting a tradition going back to the Cold War of ensuring the president enters office with at least part of his national security team in place.
Delays in Congress, caused primarily by runoff elections in Georgia for Senate seats that Democrats flipped this week and the arcane procedures needed to get the new chamber up and running, have sparked deep concern among Biden’s top advisers. They are now mapping out contingency plans to install acting secretaries in most, if not all, Cabinet posts, in case Biden’s nominees are unable to secure Senate backing by Jan. 20, according to those familiar with discussions.
“The American people rightfully expect the Senate to confirm his crisis-tested, qualified, history-making cabinet nominees as quickly as possible,” Ned Price, the national security spokesman for the Biden transition team, said in a statement. “With so much at stake, we can’t afford to waste any time when it comes to leading the response to the deadly coronavirus crisis, putting Americans back to work, and protecting our national security.”