The 10 Most Recent Cabinet Appointees to Go Down and WhyBreaking News
tags: election 2016, Trump, Cabinet Appointees
The GOP currently holds 52 seats in the Senate, enough to force through any of the nominations simply by limiting defections from within their own ranks to fewer than three. They also have precedent working in their favor. In its history, the U.S. Senate has only ever formally rejected nine Cabinet-level nominees and has done so only once in the past half-century: John Tower, who was nominated by George H.W. Bush for secretary of defense in 1989, was doomed by allegations of his alcohol abuse and womanizing. (Nonetheless, Tower still came within three votes of confirmation.)
On the rare occasions that Cabinet-level picks have failed in recent decades, the nominations have been withdrawn before the Senate's up-or-down vote over questions about embarrassing or controversial details of their personal or professional lives. That’s theoretically still possible in a Trump administration, but it strains the imagination given the president-elect’s steadfast unwillingness to back down in the face of political norms or even public pressure. In administrations past, wounded nominees stepped aside rather than become a distraction. In Trump’s, distractions might be part of the plan.
Below is a list of the 10 most recent Cabinet-level nominations to fail, and why they went down, starting with the most recent. The administration or the transition team publicly announced each selection, but not all were formally nominated by the president or the president-elect. None ever got a full vote in the Senate.