Just the Facts

Five Facts on the Trump Administration in 2019

By Emma Petasis
January 2, 2019 | Blog

As we enter the new year, there is significant personnel turnover both in Congress and the White House and many pressing items on the agenda. Here are Five Facts on Trump Administration in 2019.

The Trump Administration has had significant turnover in Cabinet-level and other senior positions.

Since President Trump took office, there have been 21 top  transitions. This includes 4 White House communications directors and changeovers in the positions of secretary of Veterans Affairs, national security advisor, secretary of Health and Human Services, secretary of Homeland Security, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, White House chief of staff, secretary of State, director of the CIA, chief economic advisor and press secretary, among others. Most notable was the recent departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Presidential administrations often undergo changes in its their cabinet members.

Serving in a presidential cabinet is a high-stress job and turnover – especially after midterm elections- is not uncommon. However, President Trump had more Cabinet members leave in the first two years than Presidents Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan.

Key new cabinet appointees in 2019 include the U.N. ambassador and the Defense Department.

In early December, President Trump nominated former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be America’s new envoy to the U.N., replacing former U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Nauert can expect to face challenging crises surrounding Yemen, Korea, Syria, and U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia in the new year. Another cabinet position in the spotlight will be the replacement of former Secretary of Defense Mattis. Currently Patrick Shanahan, former number two to Mattis, has been tapped to serve as acting secretary of Defense until President Trump finds a replacement in 2019.

The new year will be welcoming 10 newly elected senators and 100 new elected representatives in 2019.

The year, 2019 will welcome a Congress that broke numerous records in the 2018 midterm election. The congressional freshman class is the most racially diverse, most female group of representatives ever elected to the House, and includes the first Native American congresswomen and Muslim congresswomen. It also includes the most veterans as 22 incoming members have worked for the C.I.A or been in the military. According to Casey Burgat and Charles Hunt from the Brookings Institution, collectively the congressional class in 2019 is the second most educated in history, but also the least politically experienced .

2019 began with a shutdown.

With a partial government shutdown over President Trump’s proposed border wall set to continue into 2019, the new Congress will likely see one of its first votes on a deal to end the shutdown. In addition, Congress will have to pass several budgetary items in 2019. New leadership of the House Appropriations Committee, led by Rep. Nita Lowey from New York and Rep. Kay Granger from Texas can expect to work together on federal spending caps for the new fiscal calendar. The Democratic-controlled Congress is  predicted to prioritize climate change , drug prices, immigration, infrastructure, health care, among other issues. Inside the White House, the Trump Administration will have to contend with numerous ongoing domestic and foreign affairs items, including its ongoing contentious trade relations with China, volatile markets, and more.

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