Virtually all Democratic senators are expected to vote against President Trump’s picks to lead the departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury and his top budget nominee — a historic rebuke of a first-term president’s top Cabinet nominees.
The Senate is scheduled to continue confirming Trump’s Cabinet nominees this week, with a vote scheduled for Tuesday to approve Betsy DeVos, nominated to run the Education Department. Senators are poised to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to serve as the next attorney general by the end of the week.
But those votes are expected to happen with little, if any Democratic support. Only Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) has announced plans to support Sessions. As of Monday, no Democrat has announced support for DeVos, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), nominated to lead the health and human sevrices department, or Steven T. Mnuchin, nominated as treasury secretary. They all are scheduled for up-or-down votes in the coming days.
Near-unanimous opposition to a first-term president’s Cabinet picks is rare and hasn’t happened in recent history. But it comes amid a growing furor among progressive groups calling on Democratic lawmakers to oppose all of Trump’s nominees and policies. A CNN poll released on Sunday showed that just 59 percent of Democrats approve of their party’s leaders, a sign that diehard partisans want lawmakers to serve as a more aggressive check on Trump.
On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) predicted that “If not total unanimity, we’re going to have near Democratic unity in opposing the remaining nominees for President Trump’s cabinet. This unity makes clear just how bad this cabinet would be for America’s middle class and those struggling to get there, and bodes well for the major battles ahead, including over the Affordable Care Act.”