Speed Reads

the biden cabinet

Senate confirms Marty Walsh as labor secretary, completing Biden's Cabinet with surprisingly little drama

The Senate on Monday voted 68 to 29 to confirm Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as labor secretary, making him the first person from a union background to lead the Labor Department in nearly 50 years. With Walsh's confirmation, President Biden now has all 15 Cabinet secretaries in place at the top of major executive departments. It also makes Biden "the first president in more than 30 years to have all of his original Cabinet secretary nominees confirmed to their posts," CNN notes.

Despite a late start to the confirmation process, high partisan polarization in Congress, and an impeachment trial, Biden won confirmation for all his major Cabinet secretaries faster than either of his two predecessors, Donald Trump and Barack Obama — partly because they had to pull nominees who faced defeat in the Senate.

The last president to get his original major Cabinet picks confirmed was Ronald Reagan. Former President George H.W. Bush was the last president to watch a nominee go down to defeat, CNN reports. Every president since, until Biden, has withdrawn at least one nominee. Biden did pull the nomination of Neera Tanden as head of the Office of Management and Budget, but OMB isn't considered a standalone agency.

Walsh, 53, "rose to prominence in Boston through the building-trades unions after dropping out of college early to work in construction," The Washington Post reports. He resigned as mayor on Monday night, leaving Boston in the hands of Boston City Council President Kim Janey, now acting mayor. She is the first Black person to lead Boston.