Tags: John Kelly | Administration | Positions | Nominations | Trump | Preibus | Tillerson

Kelly Tries to Get Vacant Administration Positions Filled

Image: Kelly Tries to Get Vacant Administration Positions Filled

White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly. (Rex Features via AP Images)

By    |   Sunday, 15 October 2017 10:20 PM

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is aiming to fill hundreds of jobs in the Trump administration by giving cabinet secretaries more autonomy to choose top political appointees, reversing a trend under his predecessor Reince Priebus to have most appointments go through the West Wing, Politico reported on Sunday.

Kelly himself was reportedly frustrated in his previous position as Department of Homeland Security secretary by his inability to choose his own staff and was in frequent arguments with the White House over filling these positions.

Others in the cabinet, such as Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have had similar problems with the White House bureaucracy.

One of the main problems is that President Donald Trump has insisted that potential candidates must be loyal to him and did not criticize him harshly during the campaign, which has eliminated dozens of experts who served in previous Republican administrations.

Other such qualified candidates who would have served other GOP presidents have preferred not to seek such positions under Trump, which has further diminished the pool of political appointees.

Another major factor in the high number of positions unfilled this deep in the administration is Trump’s view that many appointments are not needed, telling Forbes that “you look at some of these agencies, how massive they are, and it’s totally unnecessary. They have hundreds of thousands of people.”

But some experts dispute that, saying many of the vacancies are in key positions and, without filled, make the smooth running of government difficult.

The Trump administration has not submitted nominations for nearly half of 600 positions monitored by a database maintained by The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service.

The situation at the State Department is particularly worrisome for many, as more than 78 jobs do not have a nominee out of 149 key positions, and 32 countries do not have ambassadors in place.

Although Trump has often blamed Senate Democrats for the delay in filling the positions, some conservative activists are no longer making that excuse. Last week more than 100 of them released a letter demanding that Senate leadership makes sure that Congress has full work weeks until nominees get confirmed, Politico reported.

These Republican supporters say that the slow pace of appointments harms Trump’s agenda, because government careerists who aren’t necessarily supportive of the president’s agenda end up being responsible for much of the agency-level or diplomatic work.

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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is aiming to fill hundreds of jobs in the Trump administration by giving cabinet secretaries more autonomy to choose top political appointees, reversing a trend under his predecessor Reince Priebus.
John Kelly, Administration, Positions, Nominations, Trump, Preibus, Tillerson
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2017-20-15
Sunday, 15 October 2017 10:20 PM
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