Biden’s Cabinet… So Far
Joe Biden, regardless of the seemingly innumerable attacks against him by President Trump, is going to be the 46th president of the United States of America. Like every other man that came before him, President-elect Joe Biden is currently in the process of selecting members for his cabinet. The cabinet is a group of people nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate that are there to advise and consult with the president.
Right now, in the Trump administration, there are 23 members of the president's cabinet. However, President Trump removed two positions, the UN Ambassador and the Council of Economic Advisers Chair, from the cabinet that President-elect Biden plans to reinstate. So, in total, President-elect Biden's cabinet will have 25 members, including Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris.
As of the time when this article was written, there have only been 15 nominations. When reading, keep in mind that these nominations have not been confirmed officially yet.
Biden’s nominee for secretary of state is Anthony Blinken. Blinken has both served as the Deputy National Security Advisor and the Deputy Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is, according to the U.S. Department of State website, “the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser.” He or she carries out “the President’s foreign policies through the State Department and the Foreign Service of the United States.”
Biden’s nominee for Secretary of the Treasury is Janet Yellen. Yellen served as the chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014-2018. The Secretary of the Treasury, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury website, “is responsible for formulating and recommending domestic and international financial, economic, and tax policy…”. She is also responsible for the manufacture of US currency.
Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Defense is Lloyd Austin. Austin is a retired four-star Army general and a former commander of the United States Central Command. The Secretary of Defense, according to the U.S. Department of Defense website, “is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management and program evaluation” of the U.S. military.
Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Agriculture is Tom Vilsack. Vilsack already served as the Secretary of Agriculture from 2009 to 2017. The Secretary of Agriculture, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, is meant to provide “leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.”
Biden’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services is Xavier Becerra. Becerra is a former U.S. House Representative and the current Attorney General of California. The secretary of Health and Human Services, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, is in charge of “facilitating patient-centered healthcare markets, protecting life and lives, and promoting independence.”
Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is Marcia L. Fudge. Fudge is a former U.S. House Representative of the 11th congressional district of Ohio. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website, “advises the President on housing issues, creates and implements policy, and oversees all programs in the Department.”
Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs is Denis McDonough. McDonough was the White House Chief of Staff during Obama’s second term. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs works to secure the benefits of veterans and the reservation of veteran cemeteries and memorials.
The first presidential cabinet during Washington’s presidency in 1789 only had four members. The Attorney General and the Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury, and Secretary of War. Then Secretary of State and future President Thomas Jefferson didn’t feel the cabinet meetings were worthwhile, saying “The pain was for Hamilton and myself, but the public experienced no inconvenience." What Jefferson didn’t take into account was the president’s eagerness to listen. The man in the highest office of the land was sitting there and listening to them debate, argue, and sometimes scream over policy. Not only could that help change his opinion, but it could also help shape the future of the country.