Among the nominees approved Thursday was former Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., as transportation secretary, The Hill reported. The former congressman from Illinois is the only Republican nominated by Obama for a Cabinet post who wasn't a holdover from the Bush administration.
The Senate also approved New York housing chief Shaun Donovan as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Senators approved Susan Rice, Obama's campaign foreign policy adviser, as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Mary Scharpiro, the former Financial Industry Regulatory Authority chief executive officer, was confirmed as chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, becoming the first woman to lead the regulatory agency.
Senators also approved Lisa Jackson, former chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, and former Los Angeles deputy mayor Nancy Sutley to lead the White House Council of Environmental Quality.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]