Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned last week after significant controversy. The resignation makes Labor Secretary the third cabinet position to be filled in an acting capacity. Liz Hempowicz, policy director at the Project on Government Oversight, says that the number of acting roles in this administration isn’t just a problem, it’s illegal.
“You can fill this segment going through the list of positions that have actings in them or don’t even have a nominee at this point. It doesn’t instill confidence in the leadership in those roles… We could call it churn, we could also call it unconstitutional. The constitution requires that the president seek out and gain the advice and consent of the Senate. What he’s doing by relying on acting officials is ignoring Congress on this, and unfortunately, we haven’t seen Congress push back and say to him ‘You really need to make permanent appointments and we need to weigh in on them,’” said Hempowicz. “One part of it that I think doesn’t get enough attention is that it is a time for the Senators to weigh in… but it is also time for constituents to weigh in. It’s time for individuals who have personal information about those individuals to come forward and participate in this process. The president isn’t cutting out the Senate, he is cutting out the constituency of the United States when he is relying on acting officials.”