Even billionaires can’t get into a president’s Cabinet without vetting by the U.S. Senate. Donald Trump’s choices to lead executive branch departments -- and join the line of succession to the presidency -- are among hundreds of nominees who will submit information to, and answer questions from, senators whose constitutional duty is to offer "advice and consent" on presidential appointments. Nominees are hardly ever rejected, especially at the Cabinet level, and Trump has an extra advantage because his fellow Republicans control the Senate. The outlook for his nominees is better still, due to a rule change that Democrats might now be regretting.
1. How often does the Senate turn down a president’s nominee?Very rarely. The last time came in 1989, when a Democratic-controlled Senate rejected Republican George H.W. Bush’s selection of John Tower as defense secretary. Before Tower, only eight Cabinet-level nominees had suffered such a fate, including four picks of President John Tyler in 1843-1844. Twelve other nominations for Cabinet posts were withdrawn under controversy, with half of those occurring under the last three presidents.