Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds great sway over Biden’s Cabinet nominees regardless of which party ends up in control.
The Senate’s top Republican has yet to tip his hand about how he’ll navigate the confirmation process, preferring to wait for Trump to accept the election results and Georgia’s Senate elections to play out. But Senate Democrats expect McConnell to impose a full-scale blockade on Cabinet picks he doesn’t like.
Biden will be the first Democrat president in modern times trying to set up a first-term administration without his party controlling the Senate, a rare dynamic that will play out before a bitterly divided nation and a hyper-partisan Senate.
The more controversial potential nominees, Warren and Sanders among them, would likely struggle to win confirmation. Some are already running into partisan opposition.
Previewing the intense battles ahead, Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz has been producing a series of campaign-style videos opposing both Warren and Sanders.
Yet there is also evidence of resistance from Biden’s own coalition, which includes moderate Democrats, independents and even some Republicans.
“Choosing Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, who represent the far left — and in Bernie’s case an openly socialist view of the world — is not the leadership that the American people just voted for,” said Jennifer Horn, a co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project that spent millions to support Biden’s presidential bid. “I think Joe Biden understands that.”