This week is shaping up to be one of the most consequential of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition, as senators prepare to consider as many as eight Cabinet nominees in committee.

Republicans are under fire from Democrats and ethics officials for scheduling confirmation hearings before investigators complete a background examination for each nominee, a precedent that goes back decades. But Sunday, Republican leaders vowed to press ahead, saying there are no plans to change the schedule.

Incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Jan. 8 said confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet ought to proceed as scheduled. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Democrats should “grow up and get past” the election result.

“We confirmed seven Cabinet appointments the day President Obama was sworn in,” he said, noting Republicans were in a comparable position in 2009. “We didn’t like most of them, either. But he won the election,” McConnell said. “So all of these little procedural complaints are related to their frustration at having not only lost the White House, but having lost the Senate.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson on January 4 in Washington. (Zach Gibson/AFP via Getty Images)


Prepare yourself — things are about to get confusing on Capitol Hill. Here’s which committee is considering which nominee:



  • Sessions hearing continues
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rex Tillerson, for secretary of state
  • Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Mike Pompeo, for CIA director
  • Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Betsy DeVos, for education secretary
  • Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Elaine Chao, for  transportation secretary


  • Tillerson hearing expected to continue
  • Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Wilbur Ross, commerce secretary
  • Senate Banking, House and Urban Affairs, Ben Carson, housing and urban development secretary
  • Tentatively Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Andrew Puzder, labor secretary

The packed schedule prompted this critical tweetstorm from Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz (D):

For an up-to-date guide to details of the confirmation hearings, bookmark this page.


It’s been six months since Trump held a news conference, and now, he’s finally expected to submit to open questioning from the press on Wednesday. As our colleague Dan Balz wrote this weekend, the timing means Trump will receive pointed questions about Russian interference in the election — a topic Trump’s team is trying strenuously to avoid.

Complicating matters Wednesday, the Senate will consider its first budget resolution of the new Congress. This means one thing: a vote-a-rama expected to go late into the night, involving dozens of amendment votes, since any senator can offer an amendment on any issue.

The Post's Ed O'Keefe explains how confirmation hearings in the Senate work. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)