Full schedule of Cabinet confirmation hearings and what to look for

By Doug G. Ware   |   Updated Feb. 13, 2017 at 12:44 PM
| License Photo

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A look at the full schedule of confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees, who will either be accepted or rejected for top posts in the federal government.

If the appointments gain a simple majority in committee, they are passed on to the full Senate -- with the panels' recommendations for approval or rejection, or no recommend at all. The candidates must then win a simple majority in the Senate to be confirmed.

Tuesday, Jan. 10

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., testifies Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings to be the next U.S. attorney general on Capitol Hill. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI

Jeff Sessions
Nomination: Attorney General of the United States
Hearing: 9:30 a.m., Senate Judiciary Committee

Fresh off a stint as Alabama senator, Sessions, 70, is up for the top law enforcement position in the country -- a post that runs the Justice Department, determines policy and makes determinations in a vast array of criminal justice matters.

Sessions' nomination is controversial, as critics say he's made racist remarks in the past. He was rejected by a Republican Senate for a federal judgeship in the 1980s due to these allegations.

His hearing was expected to last all day Tuesday and into early Wednesday.

Update: The full Senate confirmed Sessions on Feb. 8.


U.S. Homeland Security Secretary nominee Gen. John F. Kelly leaves Trump Tower in New York, on January 3. Pool Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/UPI

John Kelly
Nomination: Secretary of Homeland Security
Hearing: 3:30 p.m., Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

A former Marine general and leader of U.S. Southern Command, Kelly is up for a post critical to national security matters.

A 46-year veteran, Kelly, 66, is expected to add much-needed experience to Trump's semi-green Cabinet.

Update: The full Senate confirmed Kelly on Jan. 20.


Wednesday, Jan. 11

Exxon Mobil CEO and Chairman Rex Tillerson testifies May 12, 2011, before a Senate Finance Committee hearing. File Photo by /Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Rex Tillerson
Nomination: Secretary of State
Hearing: 9 a.m., Senate Foreign Relations Committee

One of Trump's most controversial nominations, Tillerson, 64, brings a wealth of business experience to the top diplomatic post. He served for years as CEO of ExxonMobil and has come under fire for past business dealings with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.

"[Russia] is an adversary that we want to know that he's going to be able to represent the United States of America and our interests and not be compromised by his relationship," Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said.

Tillerson's hearing is also scheduled to span two days, and a committee vote was scheduled for Monday, Jan. 23.

Update: The full Senate confirmed Tillerson on Feb. 1.


Transportation Secretary nominee Elaine Chao arrives for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on November 21 in New York City. File photo by Aude Guerrucci/UPI

Elaine Chao
Nomination: Secretary of Transportation
Hearing: 10:15 a.m., Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

Chao is the only Trump appointee who has previously worked at the Cabinet level, having served as labor secretary during the presidency of George W. Bush. She served as deputy treasury secretary under George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1991.

Chao, 63, is also married to GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Update: The full Senate confirmed Chao on Jan. 31.


Thursday, Jan. 12

Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis is sworn-in as defense secretary by Vice President Mike Pence, in the vice presidential ceremonial office in the Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. on January 20. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

James Mattis
Nomination: Secretary of Defense
Hearing: 9:30 a.m., Senate Armed Services Committee

If confirmed, Mattis would take over for Ashton Carter at the Pentagon. A Marine Corps veteran, the Trump transition team believes Mattis is well-suited to serve as the United States' top civilian military executive.

As former leader of U.S. Central Command, Mattis also brings a wealth of Middle East experience to the role. However, Congress must grant a waiver for Mattis to take the job, as federal law requires a candidate be retired from active military service for seven years prior to an appointment as defense secretary. Mattis, 66, retired in 2013.

Update: The full Senate confirmed Mattis on Jan. 20.


Ben Carson, President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on December 12. File photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/UPI

Ben Carson
Nomination: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Hearing: 10 a.m., Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

One of Trump's better-known Cabinet appointees, Carson sparred with the president-elect for months during the primary season as they battled for the GOP nomination. A neurosurgeon by trade, the 65-year-old Carson initially pledged that he would not serve in Trump's Cabinet, but later relented.

"I grew up in the inner city and have spent a lot of time there, and have dealt with a lot of patients from that area and recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities," he said.


U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., attends the Spirit Aerosystems Rollout Ceremony on July 26, 2013. Photo courtesy the office of Rep. Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo
Nomination: Director of Central Intelligence
Hearing: 10 a.m., Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

A former member of the House Intelligence Committee, Pompeo will face its Senate counterpart on Wednesday and likely questions of how he plans to run the country's top espionage agency in the present geopolitical landscape. His hearing was initially scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, but it was delayed until Thursday due to incomplete paperwork.

Update: The full Senate confirmed Pompeo on Jan. 23.


Tuesday, Jan. 17

Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont, arrives at Trump Tower for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump in New York City on December 12. Pool photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/UPI

Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont.
Nomination: Secretary of Interior
Hearing: 2:15 p.m., Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Starting his second term in the House of Representatives, Zinke began his career in politics with a two-year stint in Montana's Senate. Prior to that, he touted his 23-year service as a Navy SEAL, from which he retired with the rank of commander.

Zinke has shown support for increased drilling activity and mining on public lands. He also believes climate change isn't proven science.


President-elect Donald Trump (C) and Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R) meet with Betsy DeVos on November 19 at the clubhouse of Trump International Golf Club in Bedminster Township, N.J. File photo by Aude Guerrucc/UPI

Betsy DeVos
Nomination: Secretary of Education
Hearing: 5 p.m., Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

A big-time Republican donor in Michigan before joining Trump's team, DeVos, 59, is an advocate of a national school voucher program -- a controversial program that would allow parents to place their children in public or private schools. Her hearing was initially scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, but it was delayed until Jan. 17.

Update: The full Senate confirmed DeVos on Feb. 7.


Wednesday, Jan. 18

Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Nikki Haley
Nomination: U.N. Ambassador
Hearing: 10 a.m., Senate Foreign Relations Committee

If confirmed, the South Carolina governor would rep represent the Trump administration in the United Nations. She is serving her second term as governor and has traveled internationally to negotiate global economic deals in recent years.


Update: The full Senate confirmed Haley on Jan. 24.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt arrives arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on December 7. File photo by John Taggart/UPI

Scott Pruitt
Nomination: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
Hearing: 10 a.m., Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

As Oklahoma attorney general, the 48-year-old joined other states in suing the Obama administration for its policy to reduce greenhouse emissions at power plants. Pruitt has said climate change is "far from settled."


Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., President-Elect Donald Trump's nominee to be health and human service secretary, attends a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on December 8. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Tom Price
Nomination: Health and Human Services Secretary
Hearing: 10 a.m., Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Should he be confirmed, the six-term Republican congressman from Georgia, who staunchly opposes the Affordable Care Act, would be responsible for Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, the FDA and various federal medical research agencies.

Among the ACA provisions Price has been most critical of is the requirement that insurance plans cover the cost of contraception, which he has opposed federal funding for but voted in favor of while a member of the Georgia state legislature. The difference, he said in 2012, is that the state was making the decision, rather than the federal government.

Update: The full Senate confirmed Price on Feb. 10.


President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on December 15. File Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/UPI

Wilbur Ross
Nomination: Secretary of Commerce
Hearing: 10 a.m., Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

A fellow billionaire like Trump and DeVos, Ross possesses plenty of business experience for a post in which he is expected to dictate U.S. trade policy.

Ross, at 79, is the eldest of Trump's Cabinet nominees and has an estimated net worth of nearly $3 billion.


Thursday, Jan. 19

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry walks through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City following his meeting with President-elect Donald Trump on December 12. Pool photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/UPI

Rick Perry
Nomination: Energy Secretary
Hearing: 10 a.m., Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

The former Texas governor's selection for the Energy Department is a slightly unusual one.

As a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Perry said he favored the abolition of the very Cabinet department he could lead. He was also sharply critical of Trump, calling him a "barking carnival act" as a fellow candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

Since his nomination, Perry has resigned from his role on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of the Dakota Access Pipeline, in order to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.


U.S. Treasury Department Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin is seen leaving an elevator in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City on January. Pool Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones / UPI

Steven Mnuchin
Nomination: Treasury Secretary
Hearing: 10 a.m., Senate Finance Committee

Mnuchin, 53, worked for nearly 20 years at finance house Goldman Sachs before leaving the banking industry and moving west to enter a new career as a film financier. He went on to found RatPac-Dune Entertainment and produce big-budget films like Avatar (2009) and the X-Men film franchise.

Though Mnuchin has years of finance experience, he has no government experience. He served as the Trump campaign's finance chair for the past six months.


Tuesday, Jan. 24

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., President-Elect Donald Trump's nominee to be health and human service secretary, attends a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on December 8. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Tom Price
Nomination: Health and Human Services Secretary
Hearing: 10 a.m., Senate Committee on Finance

Price will face his second day of hearings, this time before the Finance Committee. His first hearing, Jan. 18, was before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.


Linda McMahon speaks with the press following her meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, NY on November 30. File Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/UPI

Linda McMahon
Nomination: Small Business Administration Administrator
Hearing: 10:30 a.m., Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

McMahon and her husband, Vince McMahon, founded WWE, which has a market value of about $1.5 billion, more than 30 years ago. She ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut twice, spending nearly $100 million on the campaigns.

While on the campaign trail, McMahon voiced support for a lower corporate tax rate and a reduction in regulations -- a stance Trump took during his presidential campaign.

Trump said McMahon would work to "bring back our jobs and roll back the burdensome regulations that are hurting our middle class."


U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C. File Photo courtesy U.S. Congress

Mick Mulvaney
Nomination: Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Hearings: 10:30 a.m., Senate Budget Committee; 2:30 p.m., Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee

Rep. Mulvaney, if confirmed, would be responsible for various fiscal matters in Trump's government -- including the president's state promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as well as other investments. The South Carolina Republican has been a longtime supporter of Trump's and was an outspoken critic of the government spending during President Barack Obama's terms.

Mulvaney, 49, is the second prominent South Carolina public servant to be selected for Trump's administration. Gov. Nikki Haley was named as Trump's ambassador to the United Nations.


Thursday, Feb. 16

Vice President Mike Pence (L) shakes hands with Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump (C) on November 20. Pool Photo by Peter Foley/UPI

Andrew Puzder
Nomination: Secretary of Labor
Hearing: 10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions

Andy Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., the parent company of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's burger chains, has spent his entire career in the private sector.

He opposes several policies of the Obama administration, including repealing of the Affordable Care Act, which he said has led to a "restaurant recession" because rising premiums left many people with less money to spend dining out.

He also supports reducing regulations, which he says has hurt growth in the restaurant industry. He opposes raising the federal minimum wage.


Unscheduled/tentative hearings

Hearing dates are not yet known for Dan Coats (director of national intelligence), Robert Lighthizer (U.S. trade representative nominee) and David Shulkin (Veterans Affairs).

Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and controversial White House counsel appointee Steve Bannon do not require Senate confirmation.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from UPI.com
Related UPI Stories
share with facebook
share with twitter
Trending Stories