At the end of Trump’s first 100 days, only 27 of 556 political appointments had been confirmed, as compared with 69 for former President Barack Obama and 35 for former President George W. Bush.
If blame is appropriate, there’s plenty of it to go around. The administration blames Democrats for slow-rolling nominees. But Democrats and some Republicans counter that the White House isn’t sending names quickly enough. And a handful of nominees have taken themselves out of contention, mostly because of their various business interests. Since the president likes hiring business leaders, that’s proving no small problem.
The lack of confirmed appointees means agencies are severely limited in the scope of their policy action, whether it’s enacting changes made by Congress or following through on dozens of executive orders Trump has signed.
Let’s look at all the things the new administration can’t do and won’t be able to do until it gets those top jobs filled.