Donald Trump’s Cabinet Nominations
Who has Donald Trump chosen to be a part of his administration?
The Progressive Teen Staff Writer
THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, the cabinet has played a major role in advising the President. Over the years, many departments were added or removed, but several have withstood the test of time. Today, the Cabinet consists of 15 department heads and the Vice President. Each position requires Senate confirmation. Several other positions are considered Cabinet-level and are directly picked by the President.
As of December 5, eight people were nominated as Cabinet department heads. The remaining positions are: Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Homeland Security, Secretary of Interior, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of State and Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Secretary of Transportation: Elaine Chao
Elaine Chao, former Secretary of Labor under President Bush and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was recently selected as Trump’s pick for Transportation Secretary. Chao’s role in Trump’s hopeful infrastructure bill could mean a major victory for the President-elect. According to her website, while serving as Secretary of Labor, she lowered her discretionary budget, which led to updated regulations on overtime for workers and helped reform the Pension Protection Act. However, she was accused of not enforcing protections of American workers, leading to wage theft. In addition, her past record shows her skepticism on safety regulations.
Attorney General: Jeff Sessions
Jeff Sessions, former U.S. Attorney and Senator from Alabama, has been chosen by Trump as Attorney General. Sessions has been with Trump throughout his campaign, helping with his immigration policy and Vice President choices. An outspoken critic of immigration, both illegal and legal, he has been accused of racism throughout his career. During his time as Attorney General, we should expect to see anti-marijuana legislation, harsher regulations for undocumented immigrants, fewer privacy protections from government surveillance and lack of enforcement of civil rights for groups such as LGBTQ Americans.
Secretary of Defense: James Mattis
On Thursday, James Mattis was revealed to be Trump’s pick for Secretary of Defense. A retired Marine and former chief of US Central Command, he has spoken out against Iran in the past. He plans to work with our Middle Eastern allies to enforce the Iran nuclear agreement and stop Iran’s influence. Many in the Pentagon worry that his hatred of Iran might lead to conflict. It is also believed that American presence in the Middle East will increase under Mattis.
Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos
Betsey DeVos, an advocate for school choice and voucher programs, has been chosen to be the next Secretary of Education. Her agenda includes increasing the number of charter schools and decreasing funding to public schools. As revealed at a 2001 conference, she promotes Christian involvement in schools to “advance God’s Kingdom.” In Michigan, DeVos’s home state, the quality of education has declined, especially in charter schools. Because of the DeVos’s strong influence on Michigan’s education, many have placed blame on the family.
Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnuchin
The top pick for our next Secretary of the Treasury is Steven Mnuchin, a former investment banker and hedge fund investor. Unlike those who have held the position in the past, he has no experience in public policy. Much of his career was spent in Hollywood or on Wall Street. His plans include lowering taxes and decreasing financial regulations. Mnuchin has supported Trump’s tax plan, saying that it would increase economic growth and prevent tax benefits for the wealthy. However, the Tax Foundation finds the plan will lead to an increase of at least $2.6 trillion to the federal debt and higher incomes for the top 1 percent.
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Tom Price
Trump’s nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services is Rep. Tom Price of Georgia. A strong opponent of Obamacare and supporter of the pro-life movement, he plans to slash Medicare and Medicaid and remove funding from Planned Parenthood. Although he is unable to repeal Obamacare and similar programs without Congress, Price could stop providing contraception at the expense of insurers, block funding for research related to reproductive health and influence policies at certain agencies.
Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross
Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor and “king of bankruptcy,” has been chosen by Trump as the next Secretary of Commerce. He has been known for purchasing failing businesses and making a profit out of them. The founder of WL Ross & Co., Ross is well-known for his connections to a West Virginia mine that exploded in 2006, killing 12. Many have called him a ‘vulture investor’ for slashing jobs for his own benefit. Ross has advocated for decreasing the corporate tax rate to 15 percent and the implementation of tariffs, while opposing trade agreements such as the TPP.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson
Trump recently nominated Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The retired neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate has no previous experience in government. Many have argued that his first hand experience with public housing qualifies him for the job; however, Carson has never lived in public housing. In this position, he would be in charge of ensuring safety and assistance to low-income families. Carson wrote on Facebook that he plans to “make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone.” As an opponent to government programs dedicated to ending poverty, he believes in individual and community efforts.