Jordan LaPier
(202) 495-3320

Why is it so hard for Joe Biden to hire people?

March 25, 2021

All american presidents are empowered to appoint thousands of true believers to turn their campaign promises into policy. But all modern presidents have struggled to get these people into their jobs. Joe Biden is no exception, at least when it comes to the roughly 1,100 appointees who require Senate confirmation. By March 24th, two months into his administration, after Rachel Levine, nominated as assistant secretary of health, became the first openly transgender federal official to win Senate approval, Mr Biden had obtained the confirmation of just 27 people. That puts him slightly ahead of where Donald Trump was at this point, but behind Barack Obama (see chart).