James Hohmann at WP reports that Trump has not yet nominated an ambassador to South Korea. Other jobs have gone unfilled, too.
The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, have been working together to track the status of 626 top jobs in the executive branch. This includes assistant secretaries, chief financial officers, general counsels, heads of agencies, ambassadors and other leadership positions that experts believe are critical for the federal government to function effectively. These represent about half of the roughly 1,200 positions that require Senate confirmation.
The White House likes to blame Congress for dragging its feet, but that’s only part of the story: As of this morning, there is no pending nominee for 245 of the 626 jobs we're tracking. Among them: deputy secretary at Treasury and Commerce, director of the Census, director of ATF, director of the Office on Violence Against Women at Justice and commissioner of the Social Security Administration.John Wagner at WP:
At Veterans Affairs, no one has been tapped to be the undersecretary for health or benefits.
At the Transportation Department, there is not a nominee to be administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Trump has not submitted nominees to direct the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the U.S. Geological Survey. He has also not picked someone to be assistant secretary of Interior for fish, wildlife and parks.
President Trump has re-upped a slew of controversial picks for administration and judicial posts whose nominations languished in the Senate last year amid questions about their qualifications and the political baggage they would bring to the job.Robert O'Harrow at WP:
A list of 75 nominees sent to the Senate this week for reconsideration includes K.T. McFarland for U.S. ambassador to Singapore, despite scrutiny by congressional investigators as part of their probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Others include a nominee who would be the first politician to lead NASA, a pick to lead the Council on Environmental Quality who has cast doubt on climate change, a choice to chair the Consumer Product Safety Commission who has drawn opposition from consumer groups and two judicial nominees rated “unqualified” by the American Bar Association.
“They’ve renominated a lot of folks who aren’t going to be confirmed,” said Jim Manley, a lobbyist and longtime aide to former Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). “Instead of finding more qualified candidates, they’re doubling down and trying to roll the Senate.”
In May 2016, Taylor Weyeneth was an undergraduate at St. John’s University in New York, a legal studies student and fraternity member who organized a golf tournament and other events to raise money for veterans and their families.
Less than a year later, at 23, Weyeneth, was a political appointee and rising star at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the White House office responsible for coordinating the federal government’s multibillion dollar anti-drug initiatives and supporting President Trump’s efforts to curb the opioid epidemic. Weyeneth would soon become deputy chief of staff.
His brief biography offers few clues that he would so quickly assume a leading role in the drug policy office, a job recently occupied by a lawyer and a veteran government official. Weyeneth’s only professional experience after college and before becoming an appointee was working on Trump’s presidential campaign.