Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution provides that the President of the United States, “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…officers of the United States[.]” Once a nomination is received by the Senate, the Senate’s executive clerk, acting on behalf of the Senate’s presiding officer, refers the nomination to the appropriate committee or committees on the day it is received. Once the Commerce Committee receives a nomination referral, nominees are asked to supply additional information and meet with committee members and staff. After completing the vetting, nominees may be asked to testify at one or more official confirmation hearings, and a vote expressing a positive recommendation from the Senate committee or committees of jurisdiction is generally required before a full Senate vote.
The Nominations Process
Under U.S. Senate rules, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has responsibility and jurisdiction for over 100 senior official posts that are subject to Senate confirmation, including the Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Transportation, who serve as department heads and members of the president’s cabinet. In addition to these positions, because the Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the U.S. Coast Guard, it must also approve all promotions of the service’s officers. While the Committee still votes on Coast Guard officer promotions, with the exception of 56 flag officers (admirals), most Coast Guard officers are not asked to individually submit information and their positions are not listed in the matrix below.
To see questionnaires, information on hearings and other details about the below nominees, click here.
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