U.S. Senate to hold 5 nomination hearings for Biden’s cabinet

In first calls to leaders, Biden speaks to Britain, Canada, Mexico
Joe Biden

Hearings in the U.S. Senate kick off on Tuesday for President-elect Joe Biden’s nominees for key posts in his cabinet, including for Treasury, Defence and State Departments.

Janet Yellen, the former Chair of the Federal Reserve, will be among the first nominees, going before the Senate Finance Committee to get confirmed for the head of Treasury.

Antony Blinken, Biden’s selection to be the incoming secretary of state, will appear at the foreign relations committee, and Lloyd Austin will go before the armed services committee for a hearing on his nomination to be defence secretary.

Austin will need a waiver for his job, as he only recently left the military.

The issue will likely not get in the way of his confirmation, but there will be debate around the waiver, as there is concern about ensuring civilian oversight of the military.

The Senate Intelligence Committee will question Avril Haines to take over as director of national intelligence.

Also Alejandro Mayorkas will face a grilling over at the homeland security committee as he looks set to be confirmed as the new secretary of the department.

Committees hold interviews with cabinet nominees but the full Senate votes on confirmation, in line with the Constitution.

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