News- secretary lew (pete souza:the white house)

Over the past few weeks, the Obama
administration has shifted into finding nominees for cabinet secretary
positions to replace the large amount of outgoing secretaries. Among those who
have left are Secretaries Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, Tim Geithner, Energy
Secretary Steven Chu, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Interior Secretary Ken
Salazar and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The most well recognized name on the
list of new appointments is the new Secretary of State, former presidential
nominee Sen. John Kerry. Kerry would bring a great amount of experience to the
office as the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Panel, according
to CNN.

One of Kerry’s colleagues on the
Foreign Relation Panel, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), said despite disagreements, “I have always found him as someone who is
open to discussion.”
Initially, U.S.  Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice was expected to receive the
position, but allegations regarding the Sep. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi last
year forced her to withdraw her candidacy according to a report in the New York
Times.

The nomination of Chuck Hagel was a
hard won victory for Democrats against fierce Republican opposition. Hagel,
formally a Republican senator, sat on
the Senate Foreign Relations, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and
Intelligence Committees. His former Republican colleagues accused him of being
unfit for the job due to his personal views according to the Washington Post
. The
top Republican of the Senate Armed Services Committee, James Inhofe (R-Okla.),
accused Hagel of using too soft of rhetoric on Iran and their nuclear program; Sen.
Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) claimed Hagel’s comments showed that he is too harsh on
Israel. The vote was largely along partisan lines, with only four Republicans
joining Democrats in the 58-41 vote approving his nomination on Feb. 26.

Another important nomination was Secretary of the Treasury
Jack Lew. He was confirmed in a 71-26 vote on Feb. 27. President
Obama stated that he was “pleased that the Senate took bipartisan action
today to confirm Jack Lew as our nation’s next Treasury Secretary.”

“His reputation as a master of fiscal issues who can
work with leaders on both sides of the aisle has already helped him succeed in
some of the toughest jobs in Washington,” Obama said. Lew was the Budget Director
for Presidents Clinton and Pres. Obama.

            Thomas
Perez, Assistant Attorney General in the Administration’s Civil Rights Division,
was nominated to fill the position of Secretary of Labor. Perez, the son of
Dominican immigrants, would be the only Hispanic member in the Cabinet. He
would be replacing outgoing Secretary Hilda Solis, who resigned on Jan. 22.
Already, one Senate Republican, David Vitter of Louisiana, revealed that he
would block Perez’s nomination, over dismissing a 2009 Justice Department case
accusing the New Black Panther Party of voter intimidation according to CBS
News.

The
Secretary of Commerce position has been vacant since the former Secretary John
Bryson resigned for medical reasons last June. While there is no official
indication of who will be nominated, according to CNN, the frontrunner is Sheryl
Sandberg. Sandberg was the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook for four years
when she was appointed to its Board of Directors. She is one of the most
prominent women in the field of technology and she has shown interest in a
position of influence of some kind according to a recent Forbes article.

Obama has also chosen his nominees for
the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Secretary and head of
the Office Management and Budget, with Gina McCarty, Ernest Montiz and Sylvia
Mathews Burwell filling the positions, respectively. McCarthy will have the
hardest confirmation process, given that the regulatory nature of the position will
pit her against supporters of deregulation, according to the Guardian.

A
notable departure from the Cabinet was of Ray LaHood, Transportation Secretary.
In the former Obama Cabinet, he was the only Republican member.

CNN
reported that the frontrunner for this position is Deborah Hersman, the head of
the National Transportation Safety Board and a former advisor to the Senate
Commerce Committee. If confirmed, she will be the second woman to hold the
position.

 

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