The Trump administration has not nominated the necessary personnel to the various agencies at the same pace as prior administrations at the same point in time.
In most cases, only the head of a Department or Agency has been nominated and confirmed. In other cases, only a small handful of political appointees have been placed into offices, leaving the vast majority of the supervisory level offices vacant or with ‘acting’ assistant secretaries who are likely to consist of senior career employees. This failure to nominate political appointments is frustrating the smooth operation of the government including implementing the administration’s regulation reform initiatives. In particular, EPA only has its administrator confirmed with a small handful of appointees with limited authority to rescind regulations or carry out the functions of the Agency’s various offices. It also enables the career staff to slow-walk reforms and sometimes freeze in place most of the Obama-era policies the president promised to repeal. For example, at the Treasury, the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program cannot move forward without a Mint Director who has the authority to resume the program. The White House has indicated recently that it is speeding up the appointment process and will be submitting many names of people to fill these important roles. However, these nominees much be vetted by the FBI and many sent to the U.S. Senate for confirmation. This process will take time and, in the meantime, important policy changes and government functions will not be achieved.