There's very little Democrats can do to kneecap President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks as confirmation hearings kick into gear later this month—and Trump knows it.
His will be the first Cabinet sworn in since Democrats went nuclear in 2013 and did away with the filibuster, which used to require 60 votes for confirmation of most presidential nominees. That change may have fundamentally changed the way the Cabinet nomination process is working, and congressional experts say the loss of the filibuster even may have influenced Trump's selection of nominees.
"For a typical president, knowing that there is at least that risk of a filibuster ...would have at least something of a tempering effect on who you nominate," Eric Schickler, a professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley, told TPM. "What we're seeing with Trump, he's obviously chosen to nominate some people who are pretty far out there and his ability to succeed with that is higher in a world without the filibuster."
Indeed, Trump has been emboldened to choose an unorthodox roster of Cabinet nominees, many of whom have little relevant government experience.
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