Biden officials are also expected to campaign for swift endorsement from Defense Secretary-designate Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Austin must also seek House approval for a repeal of the law banning recently retired military officials from serving as Secretary of Defense. His first hearing on the matter is Tuesday.
The Biden team’s decision to give priority to confirmation from DHS and other national security candidates came after the Capitol attack exposed a litany of security flaws, including by the Trump administration. On Monday, Trump’s acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf announced that he would be stepping down.
In the past, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would put Biden’s nominees to a vote but did not praise a quick approval. Once Biden is sworn in, the Democrats will take over the Senate – and the verification process – thanks to the party’s victories in two Senate runoff elections in Georgia last week and the tiebreaking vote of elected Vice President Kamala Harris.
The messaging push also comes as the House makes another attempt to indict Trump, raising questions about whether a subsequent trial in the Senate could slow down the confirmation hearings. Biden said Monday he was looking to see if the chamber could crack down on impeachment while confirming his candidates.
Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, and the future president has insisted that he take the oath of office on Capitol grounds, even amid growing security concerns after hundreds of armed Trump supporters overpowered the police and killed one while they did that Capitol roamed and looted buildings last week.
Another major event planned to protest Biden’s presidency, the Million Militia March, is scheduled for inauguration day.
“Regardless of developments that have put our national security at stake, the pandemic kills thousands every day, and our economy is in a historic recession, there is absolutely no justification for Republicans for the US government’s ability to do so jeopardize keeping the Americans. ” People are safe, are handing out vaccines and putting Americans back to work, “said Andrew Bates, spokesman for the Biden transition.
“Many of these respected, qualified, and crisis-screened candidates were announced in November, many have already been confirmed and their filings have been submitted. We look forward to continuing to work in good faith with both parties on timely confirmations. “