Biden Plans To Publicly Announce Cabinet Picks Before Hearings To Ward Off GOP Stonewalling

President-elect Joe Biden addresses the nation on November 6, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
November 18, 2020 11:01 a.m.

President-elect Joe Biden has formulated a strategy to get his Cabinet picks confirmed by a GOP-controlled Senate that threatens to potentially torpedo his candidates a la Obama Supreme Court Justice nominee Merrick Garland.

A Biden transition official confirmed to TPM on Wednesday that the President-elect has a new “confirmations team” dedicated to the Cabinet appointment process whose staffers plan to break from tradition by publicly announcing the President-elect’s nominees before officially putting them before the Senate.

The team is “throwing away the old playbook dictating that nominees say nothing in public until their hearings,” according to the official.

The idea is to put the squeeze on the GOP Senate majority, which could hold the nominee process hostage and force Biden to choose Cabinet members on their terms if the party prevails in the Georgia Senate runoffs.

“We are operating under belief that the Senate will be under substantial pressure from the public and voters across the country […] to take action on the economy and public health crises, to confirm nominees and rebuild federal agencies with competent public servants,” the staffer told TPM.

Whether or not Biden will need to apply that pressure depends on the outcome of the Georgia Senate races, both of which Democrats must win in order to take control of the chamber.

The Cabinet confirmations team was first reported by Politico.

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