So far, no hearings have been held on President-elect Joe Biden’s nominees — meaning Biden could face a serious delay in getting his administration ready to begin governing.
The Senate, which will still be led by Mitch McConnell for a little over a week, is currently out of session and will remain out of session until January 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden takes office (technically, the Senate will hold brief “pro forma” sessions on the 12th and the 15th, but no business is conducted at these sessions).
As CNN’s Kylie Atwood notes, this is the first time in at least 10 presidential transitions where the incoming president’s nominee to be secretary of state won’t even have a confirmation hearing before that president’s Inauguration Day. And it’s unclear whether any hearings will be held before the Senate is scheduled to reconvene on January 19.
The Senate Finance Committee announced on Tuesday that it will hold a confirmation hearing for Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen on January 19, the Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing for Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin on the same day, and Homeland Security Secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas will also reportedly receive a hearing on the 19th.
But confirmation hearings for the incoming cabinet typically begin much sooner. Eight days before Trump took office, for example, six of Trump’s cabinet nominees had already received hearings.