Wednesday, Rex Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of State, and the nominees for the departments of Justice, Treasury, and Health and Human Services were all confirmed by their respective Senate committees.
Tillerson’s confirmation was not in doubt despite Democratic opposition. He was confirmed with a bipartisan 56-43 vote, with all 52 Republican Senators in support.
Earlier in the day, Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions cleared the Judiciary Committee with a party-line 11-9 vote, after the Democratic members of the panel used a combination of delaying tactics, including a rarely used “two hour rule”, which prohibits committees from meeting for more than two hours after the Senate comes into session.
Two of Trump’s other nominees had a much more difficult time clearing their respective committees: Treasury nominee Steve Mnuchin and Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price were eventually confirmed after Republican committee members were forced to change the committee rules when Democrats repeatedly refused to show up for the confirmation votes.
“They have nobody to blame but themselves,” Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Finance Committee, said after Democrats refused to show up for the second straight day of scheduled votes on Mnuchin and Price.