Filling Advice and Consent Positions at the Outset of Recent Administrations, 1981-2009 [February 24, 2017] [open pdf - 1MB]
"The length of the appointment processes during presidential transitions has been of concern to observers for more than 30 years. The process is likely to develop a bottleneck during this time due to the large number of candidates who must be selected, vetted, and, in the case of positions filled through appointment by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate (PAS positions), considered by that body. The appointment process has three stages: selection and vetting, nomination and Senate consideration, and presidential appointment. Congress has taken steps to accelerate appointments during presidential transitions. In recent decades, Senate committees have provided for pre-nomination consideration of Cabinet-level nominations; examples of such actions are provided in this report. In addition, recently adopted statutory provisions appear designed to facilitate faster processing of appointments during presidential transitions. Among the new statutory provisions were those enacted by Congress in response to certain 9/11 Commission recommendations, mainly in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Also part of this act was a sense of the Senate resolution stating that nominations to national security positions should be submitted by the President-elect to the Senate by Inauguration Day, and that Senate consideration of all such nominations should be completed within 30 days of submission." This report presents "analyses of data related to Cabinet and selected subcabinet appointments during the last five transitions from 1981 through 2009," and discusses the appointment process.
CRS Report for Congress, R40119
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html