by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jim Geraghty of National Review Online ponders the large number of job vacancies within the Trump administration.
Now comes another glaring sign that the young administration is ill-prepared for the duties of governing: The astonishing number of high-level positions that President Trump still has yet to fill.
The Partnership for Public Service identified 553 key positions in the federal government that require Senate confirmation: cabinet secretaries, assistant secretaries, administrators, ambassadors, chief counsels, directors, and so on. As of March 28, Trump had named 61 people to these positions, 21 of whom had been confirmed by the Senate. That figure doesn’t reflect well on the Senate, but it still leaves an astonishing 492 key government positions awaiting a nominee. In the meantime, all of those jobs are being done by holdover appointees of the previous administration or acting officials from the civil service.
You might think that by late March, an administration that considers immigration enforcement such a priority would have named its own director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or its own commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or its own assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security, or its own assistant secretary for population, refugees and migration at the State Department, or a new director of the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, or a special counsel for immigration-related unfair employment practices at the DOJ.
Trump hasn’t named nominees for any of those slots.