How the Georgia runoffs could delay Biden's cabinet

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who could chair the Senate HELP Committee in the next Congress, said that the current state of limbo renders the confirmation process “moot” until control of the Senate is clear.

“If you can’t form committees until Jan, 6, 7, 8, something like that? And know whether you’re in the majority or minority? Staff, schedule, meet with nominees, look at FBI files for the chair and ranking member?” Burr asked. “You only really have two weeks there before the inauguration. I’m just not confident a whole lot can be accomplished.”

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), the top Republican on the Banking panel, predicted Biden’s nominees wouldn’t start getting processed until “some time late January,” adding that “it wouldn’t be practical to do anything before [Georgia] anyway.”

While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Biden’s nominees will get votes on the Senate floor if he remains in power, control of the Senate will largely determine how quickly that will happen. Democrats would almost certainly move Biden’s picks through committees faster than Republicans, who say they will make sure Biden’s nominees get the same scrutiny that Democrats gave to President Donald Trump’s appointments.