Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams is our acting surgeon general. However, until she is officially appointed to the position, the United States does not currently have a surgeon general, as that post and hundreds of other positions, including 93 U.S. attorney positions, have yet to be filled by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate.
The Washington Post and The Partnership for Public Service put together a report that reveals a startling fact: “As of Monday afternoon, 442 of 559 key positions requiring Senate confirmation remain unfilled. Just 39 nominees for these positions have been confirmed.”
With no nominees, cabinet departments are currently being staffed by career bureaucrats. “For example, the Department of Agriculture has 13 positions requiring Senate confirmation and just one, the secretary of agriculture, has been filled so far,” said the report, which noted that some nominations have not yet been confirmed, while others have had to withdraw.
For example, Philip Bilden withdrew his name from consideration for Secretary of the Navy, as did both of Trump’s nominees for Secretary of the Army.
Another issue dogging the administration is that it’s taking longer than usual to confirm nominees. The Post report claims:
“As of May 20, Trump nominees take an average of 41 days to be confirmed. As of this time during their respective administrations, confirmations took 32 days under former President Barack Obama and 18 days under former President George W. Bush. Although by this time, Obama had 130 presidential appointments confirmed and the same amount of failed nominations, three, as Trump.”
President Trump reportedly said in February, “In many cases, we don’t want to fill those jobs.”
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