Trump nominates dozens of appointees days before his term ends


The Senate is highly unlikely to act on any of his latest nominations before Trump's tenure ends.

With only two weeks left to go in his term in office, Donald Trump has sent 30 new nominees to the newly sworn-in Senate on Sunday for judgeships, board and commission members, ambassadors, and even a Cabinet secretary.

Many of the nominees are for positions with terms that would continue beyond President-elect Joe Biden's, which begins on Jan. 20 and lasts until January 2025.

One of those on Trump's list is Judy Shelton, an extremist whom he is once again nominating to a vacant seat on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors that the Senate denied her in November. Sheldon has opposed the central bank's independence and advocated for returning U.S. currency to the gold standard, tying the value of a dollar to a specific amount of gold. Most experts say this would be harmful to the economy.

Trump also again nominated Chad Wolf to run the Department of Homeland Security in the final days of the Trump administration. Trump installed Wolf as acting secretary in November 2019, ignoring the line of succession and vacancy rules for the post. A federal judge ruled late last year that Wolf was serving illegally and that actions he has taken in the role are invalid.

The Senate is highly unlikely to act on any of his latest nominations before Trump's tenure ends. It will meet on Wednesday in a joint session with the House of Representatives to formalize Biden's Electoral College win and then is not expected to be in session until Inauguration Day.

With majority control of the Senate still undecided pending the results of runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday and new committee assignments not yet worked out, it is doubtful that there would be a path to confirmation in the next 16 days, even if the Senate were in session.

Trump has focused much of his energy on picking judges during his time in the White House, but has shown little interest in filling many vacant executive branch positions. He has often opted to keep people in temporary roles, saying, "I like acting. It gives me more flexibility."

Biden has already announced dozens of his own nominees, who will require Senate hearings and votes. Senate Republicans have promised to allow votes on Biden's Cabinet nominees even if they keep their majority.

But nearly two months after losing by a margin that he called a "landslide" when he was on the winning side of it, Trump has not accepted that he lost. "We won, BIG!" he tweeted on Friday.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.