How does Senate confirmation work?

By Mark Trainer -
Jan 12, 2017


Before President-elect Trump’s Cabinet choices can start work, their appointments must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Somewhere between 1,200 and 1,400 government positions require confirmation. While presidents make replacement appointments throughout their term of office, new presidents make many appointments right away. This obliges the Senate to hold many confirmation hearings just before, and after, a new president takes office.

Here’s how it works:

Infographic of steps for Senate confirmation: background checks, financial disclosures, nomination letters, committee hearings, Senate debate and vote (State Dept./Julia Maruszewski)
(State Dept./Julia Maruszewski)