Tags: Trump Administration | interior | acting | trump | bernhardt | lankford

After Interior, Will Trump Upgrade More Acting Officials to Permanent Status?

After Interior, Will Trump Upgrade More Acting Officials to Permanent Status?
Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt (AFP/Getty Images)

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Tuesday, 05 February 2019 06:05 AM Current | Bio | Archive

No sooner had President Donald Trump named Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt Monday as his choice for permanent head of the department than speculation started over whether he would now do the same for other acting officials in his Administration.

According to the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, an estimated 150 of 705 presidential appointments requiring Senate confirmation are working under acting status, temporarily filling a vacancy without going to the Senate for hearings.

“You want to have confirmed individuals there,” Sen. James Lankford, R.-Okla, told The Washington Post, “because they have a lot more authority to be able to make decisions and implement policy when you have a confirmed person in that spot.” 

Four Cabinet-level departments have acting heads: the Departments of Interior, Defense, and Justice, and the Environmental Protection Administration.

In formally sending Bernhardt’s nomination to the Senate, Trump wrote on Twitter that Bernhardt was doing “a fantastic job” as acting secretary and deserved confirmation. 

Previously, he sent the nomination of Acting Environmental Protection Administrator Andrew Wheeler to the Senate.  Rather than asking the Senate confirm controversial Acting Attorney General Matthew Whittaker for the job, Trump nominated William Barr, who won high marks as George H.W. Bush’s attorney general from 1990-93.

The president is soon expected to make Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney his permanent top aide.  When Mulvaney (who still is director of the Office of Management and Budget) gets the permanent White House position (which does not require Senate confirmation), Trump is almost sure to make Deputy Director Russ Vought acting OMB boss and later send the nomination to the Senate.    

Last month, Trump told a scrum of White House reporters before he boarded the Marine One helicopter that he “liked acting.”  In his interview on “Face the Nation” Sunday, he reiterated this view and told CBS-TV’s Margaret Brennan he felt that dealing with acting officials gave him “flexibility.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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No sooner had President Donald Trump named Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt Monday as his choice for permanent head of the department than speculation started over whether he would now do the same for other acting officials in his Administration.
interior, acting, trump, bernhardt, lankford
339
2019-05-05
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 06:05 AM
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