The Bagel logo
  • Ryan Wittler

A Year In, Less Than Half of President Biden’s Nominees Have Been Confirmed

Associated Press

A year into his presidency, a new analysis from the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service has found that just 41% of President Biden’s nominees for Senate-confirmed positions have been approved.

Stalled Senate:

According to the analysis, by the end of 2021, Biden had nominated 644 people for Senate-confirmed posts, more than President Trump had in his first year (555) and slightly fewer than President Obama (653) and President George W. Bush (677).

However, while Biden nominated roughly the same number of appointees as Bush and Obama did in their first years, he’s gotten far fewer confirmed. In 2021, Congress confirmed just 355 Biden nominees, compared to 505 of Bush’s and 450 of Obama’s. Trump had slightly fewer with 317.

Overall, Biden’s first-year percentage of 41% is well below previous administrations: Trump (57%), Obama (69%), and Bush (75%).

Why is it happening?

One of the major problems is the sheer logistics of it all. According to the analysis, between 1960 and 2016, the number of Senate-confirmed positions grew from 779 to 1,237, a 59% increase.

Then there’s the politics.

In December, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) finally lifted his block on around 40 of Biden’s nominees after cutting a deal with Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). A week before that, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) held up the confirmation of five U.S. attorneys until Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) apologized for interrupting him in a committee hearing…nine months earlier.

Bagel HQ, Los Angeles, CA