President Joe Biden is “disappointed” with how slowly his cabinet nominees are being confirmed to their positions, but he doesn’t blame the Senate, he told reporters Wednesday.
Biden made the statement in response to reporter questions following his signing of an economic executive order at the White House on Wednesday. He said he doesn’t blame opposition in the Senate for the slow pace, but rather blames former President Donald Trump for refusing to provide a “rational” transition.
President Biden tells @stevenportnoy that he’s disappointed more of his cabinet nominees haven’t been confirmed.
“But I don’t so much blame it on the senate, I blame it on the failure to have a transition that was rational,” Biden says.
— Sara Cook (@saraecook) February 24, 2021
Trump and his administration went to great lengths to delay and slow down the transition process as the former president and his allies sought to overturn the result of the election. Trump didn’t authorize the General Services Administration (GSA) to begin the transition process until nearly three weeks after Election Day. (RELATED: ‘Do What Needs To Be Done’ — Trump Directs His Administration To Begin The Transition Process With Biden)
Then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also reportedly instructed staffers not to go out of their way to assist the Biden transition team. He sent out a memo to staff pledging that the White House will “comply with all actions needed to ensure the smooth transfer of power,” but states that White House officials “are not permitted to speak directly with a member of the Biden transition team or the federal transition coordinator,” unless specifically authorized, according to Bloomberg.
More than a month into Biden’s presidency, less than half of his 23 cabinet nominees have received confirmations from the Senate. Both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had the vast majority of their nominees confirmed within three weeks of their inaugurations. Like Biden, however, Trump also struggled to speed the confirmation process.
Biden made the statement as his nominee for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Neera Tanden, faces dire prospects in her confirmation vote thanks to past partisan and offensive tweets and statements.