White House

Temporary Secretaries Hold High Profile Positions in Trump Administration

Key government positions have been unstable in the Trump era. Cabinet-level nominations require Senate confirmation, but Trump has been able to bypass the process by filling cabinet positions in an acting status. Acting secretaries have the same powers as their Senate-confirmed counterparts but are limited by law to serving 210 days. Trump has openly welcomed the advantages of having acting Cabinet members. “I like acting because I can move so quickly. It gives me more flexibility,” Trump told CBS's “Face the Nation” in February. “It's easier to make moves when they're acting. Do you understand that? I like acting, so we have a few that are acting. We have a great, great Cabinet.” We've tracked high profile positions in the Trump administration:

Key Positions in Trump Administration

Positions led by people in acting or confirmed roles from the beginning of Trump administration are shown.

Source: NBC News and staff reports
Credit: Yuqing Liu/NBC

Over the course of the Trump presidency, 14 of 23 Cabinet-level directors have been in acting status, eight Cabinet departments have seen their leader changed and five of those positions still have acting directors: Homeland Security, Labor, White House chief of staff, the Small Business Administration and the Office of Management and Budget.

The Trump administration also has never confirmed directors at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). These two leading positions have been assigned to seven different people since the beginning of his presidency.

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