Trump’s Cabinet close-up

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Trump’s Cabinet close-up

So far, Trump has only chosen 18 of 21 Cabinet positions. John Hamilton | Visual Editor

So far, Trump has only chosen 18 of 21 Cabinet positions. John Hamilton | Visual Editor

So far, Trump has only chosen 18 of 21 Cabinet positions. John Hamilton | Visual Editor

So far, Trump has only chosen 18 of 21 Cabinet positions. John Hamilton | Visual Editor

By Janine Faust / Staff Writer

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The 45th president of the United States of America will officially have the opportunity to “Make America Great Again,” beginning Jan. 20.

Among those expected to appear at the inauguration ceremony of Donald Trump — including the Rockettes and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir — are the newest members of the President-elect’s Cabinet.

Consisting of businessmen, Republican politicians, military officials and even one of Trump’s opponents for the Republican nomination, Trump’s nominated cabinet is considered to be one of the most conservative ever, with several nominations sparking public outcry.

Trump and his cabinet have vocalized plans that will significantly change certain policies already in place. Trump himself opposes Common Core standards, an education initiative adopted by 42 U.S. states detailing what students ought to know in math and English at the end of each grade. He also wants to create a Muslim registry, a database of Muslim people within the country. Some of his cabinet members also want to privatize high schools and lessen the country’s reliance on climate change science to create environmental policy.

Listed below are the nominees for the soon-to-be-president’s collection of advisers and assistants, who will begin overseeing the nation’s federal executive departments in less than three weeks.

President — Donald Trump

At 70 years old and with a net worth of about $800 million, Trump will be the oldest and wealthiest person to assume the U.S. presidency and the first without prior military or government experience. Trump plans to re-evaluate relations with China as well as renegotiate free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement between 12 countries containing measures to lower both non-tariff and tariff barriers to trade and promote economic growth, and replacing the Affordable Care Act. He has proposed a student loan plan that allows borrowers to cap their monthly student loan payments at 12.5 percent of their income.

-Opposes climate change regulations

-Supports energy independence

-Wants to reform veterans’ affairs

-Supports moving the federal loan system to private banks, making the student loan system market-driven and based on factors such as the marketability of a chosen major

-Supports establishing a Muslim registry

Vice President – Mike Pence

Pence, a Republican, is the 50th and current governor of Indiana, with a law degree from Indiana University and past experience as a conservative radio and television talk show host. Pence served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013 and was chairperson of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011.

  • Opposes same-sex marriage and the expansion of LGBTQ+ rights
  • Opposes granting amnesty to unauthorized immigrants
  • Supports an increase in border security measures and stricter laws prohibiting unauthorized residents from working in the United States
  • Supports the right to carry a firearm in public, expansion of free trade and placing a limit on federal spending
  • Denies the existence of climate change
  • Supports setting learning standards for schools at the local level as opposed to the Common Core

Secretary of State — Rex Tillerson

Tillerson is the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, a multinational oil and gas corporation. Tillerson has stirred controversy as the pick for Secretary of State due to his close business ties with Vladimir Putin, with many fearing that their “friendship” will influence American responses to Russia’s geopolitical ambitions and challenge the current economic sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Russia. As Secretary of State, Tillerson will develop foreign policy and handle diplomatic relations with other countries.

-Against economic sanctions

-Against extensive government regulation in trade

-Supports Common Core standards

-Acknowledges that greenhouse gases created by humans have “some effect” in regards to climate change but claims that not enough is known about the exact impact of fossil fuel use for any regulations to be put in place

-Supports a carbon tax to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide

Secretary of the Treasury — Steven Mnuchin

Mnuchin is a former senior manager and partner at Goldman Sachs and hedge fund investor. He joined Trump’s presidential campaign as its national finance chairman in 2016, orchestrating fundraising endeavors for the campaign. As Secretary of the Treasury, Mnuchin has stated his main priority is raising the nation’s GDP between 3 to 4 percent through tax reforms such as reducing corporate taxes to 15 percent, cutting taxes for the middle class and simplifying the American tax system overall.

-Supports trade deals with individual countries over regional trade deals

-Wants to remodel certain parts of the Obama Administration’s Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a United States federal law that places regulation of the financial industry in the hands of the government by reforming parts of the act that prevent banks from lending, claiming that doing so will help small and medium-sized businesses access loans more easily

Secretary of Defense — James Mattis

James Mattis is a retired United States Marine Corps general who last served as the 11th Commander of United States Central Command, an organization responsible for American military operations in the Middle East, Northeast Africa and Central Asia. He is expected to roll back integrating women into combat and allowing transgender people to openly serve.

-Supports a two-state solution for Israeli-Palestinian peace, envisioning an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.

-Supports the Iran Nuclear Dealan agreement between Iran and several world powers meant to curb the former’s nuclear programs — despite viewing it as flawed, on the grounds that there is no safe way to dispose of the deal at this point

-Supports encouraging stronger friendships with regional U.S. allies such as Jordan and the United Arab Emirates

-Advocates for strengthening ties with allied intelligence agencies such as those of Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Mattis has argued for providing Syrian rebels with arms and has also spoken out against Russia’s interests in Syria, Ukraine and the Baltic States

Attorney General — Jeff Sessions

Sessions, a Republican, is the junior U.S. senator from Alabama, who previously served as the attorney general of Alabama. Sessions was an early supporter of Trump’s presidential campaign and was considered as a possible vice presidential nominee before Pence. Sessions’ nomination as attorney general has raised some concerns based on past allegations of racial insensitivity.In 1986, he was denied a federal judgeship by a Senate committee on account of accusations of racism. Sessions has repeatedly denied that he is insensitive to other races.

-Opposes undocumented immigration and in favor of reducing legal immigration

-Advocates for reduced government spending and tougher measures against crime


-Against the expansion of LGBTQ+ rights

-Against the legalization of marijuana for either recreational or medicinal use

-Opposes the Affordable Care Act

-Climate change skeptic

-Against allowing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases

-Proponent of nuclear power

Secretary of Education — Betsy DeVos

DeVos is an American businesswoman, philanthropist and education activist from Michigan. She was Republican National Committeewoman for Michigan from 1992 to 1997 and served as chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000 with reelection to the post in 2003. Her family has a history of financially supporting colleges and universities in her home state of Michigan through charitable contributions, but her own plans concerning financial aid access, rising student debt and other issues surrounding higher institutions have so far remained unclear.

-Seeks to instate voucher systems that would draw more students into private schooling

-Supports school choice over publicly provided schools assigned by location of residence

-Opposes charter school regulation

-Opposes the Common Core

Secretary of the Interior — Ryan Zinke

Zinke, a Republican, is the U.S. representative for Montana’s at-large congressional district. He also previously served as a member of the Montana Senate.

-Supports the deployment of U.S. ground troops to combat ISIL

-Opposes the Affordable Care Act

-Opposes same-sex marriage

-Opposes stimulus packages meant to boost employment and spending through economic measures enforced by the government

-Opposes abortion rights

-Supports local control of schools by community members on committees over the use of Common Core standards

-Endorses better management of federal land over transferring them to state control

-Supports the death penalty and vocational training and job-placement assistance for prison inmates

Secretary of Commerce — Wilbur Ross

Wilbur Ross is a billionaire American investor and former banker known for restructuring failed companies. Ross served under Bill Clinton’s administration as a board member of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund and later as an economic adviser to Trump’s campaign.

-Opposes free-trade agreements

-Has threatened to place steep tariffs on Chinese goods

-Supports cutting the corporate tax rates and reducing taxes and regulations on energy companies

Secretary of Labor — Andrew Puzder

Andrew Puzder is the chief executive of CKE restaurants and a notable Republican donor in 2016, contributing in that year approximately $332,000 to Trump’s campaign, joint fundraising committees and the Republican National Committee. He served as a presidential trustee and senior economic adviser to Trump’s campaign. Puzder also served as a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

-Outspoken critic of the worker protection laws enacted by the Obama administration

-Strongly supports repealing the Affordable Care Act

Secretary of Health and Human Services — Tom Price

Price is an American physician and Republican politician who is the U.S. representative for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, serving since 2005. He currently serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

-Against federal regulation of farming and increasing the debt limit

-Supports cutting or reforming portions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act

-Supports cutting the Federal Housing Authority’s refinancing program

-Supports terminating the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program and giving individual states the autonomy to improve their schools

-Opposes the Affordable Care Act and sponsors the Empowering Patients First Act, a Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act which, among other things, would create and expand tax credits for purchasing health insurance.

-In favor of market-based student loan interest rates

-Opposes abortion, gun control and measures to expand LGBTQ+ rights

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development — Ben Carson

Carson is a retired American surgeon, author and politician. He ran for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential campaign but dropped out in March 2016 and went on to endorse Trump. His primary focus will be on raising the overall standard of living in “inner cities” in accordance with Trump’s vision, although little is known as to how Trump’s administration plans to do that.

-Opposes the Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which offers incentives to affluent areas to build affordable housing

-Against tracking racial bias in the housing sector

-Opposes the Common Core.

-Against providing free university or college education

-Believes higher institutions of learning need to be monitored for political bias

Secretary of Transportation — Elaine Chao

Chao is a Republican politician who was the first Asian American woman and the first Taiwanese American in U.S. history to be appointed to a Presidential Cabinet. She served as the 24th Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009 and Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President George H.W. Bush.

-Is pro-gig economy, meaning she supports the existence of environments in which temporary work positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements

-Supports more connective public transit, viewing it as a way to increase employment and productivity through providing easier access to jobs

Secretary of Energy — Rick Perry

Perry is an American politician who was the 47th governor of Texas from December 2000 to January 2015, making him the longest-serving governor in Texas history. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for president in 2012 and 2016. During his campaign for the 2012 nomination, Perry stated that he wished to abolish the Department of Energy. It is unknown if his sentiments toward the department have changed.

-Climate change skeptic

-Defender of oil and gas exploration

-Against government regulation of carbon emissions.

-Supports the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would run from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska, to join an existing pipe

-Against raising tuition

-Supports allowing undocumented immigrants to benefit from in-state tuition

Secretary of Homeland Security — John Kelly

Kelly is a retired United States Marine Corps general and the former commander of United States Southern Command, the Unified combat Command responsible for American military operations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

-Supports keeping the Guantanamo Bay detention facility open

-Opposes drug legalization

-Supports increasing border security

No nominee has been selected for either the Secretary of Veteran Affairs or the Secretary of Agriculture positions. Possible candidates for Agriculture include the current Republican governor of Kansas Sam Brownback, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and Democratic senator from North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp. Possible candidates for Veteran Affairs include the incumbent Secretary Robert A. McDonald, U.S. Navy Admiral Michelle Howard and former governor of Alaska and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

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