More than a year into the President Donald Trump administration, hundreds of key government positions remain unfilled. That means missing ambassadors, State Department personnel, and other positions. But who is to blame for all the empty desks?
According to Sen. Bob Menendez, “Trump is the problem.”
This Administration has routinely denigrated the responsibilities of our diplomatic and development corps and deemed them low priorities for American foreign policy. Rather than blaming others, the president should examine his record... https://t.co/NBoxXGxioA pic.twitter.com/Cxvhwm2KVm— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) March 12, 2018
In a statement, Menendez blasted the Trump administration for causing many of the job vacancies: “Of 163 total Senate-confirmed positions to the State Department and USAID, the Trump Administration has failed to fulfill its duties to nominate individuals for 65 of those positions,” Menendez wrote. “This problem is further compounded by the poor management, dangerous political guidance and arbitrary hiring freeze at the State Department which has prompted an alarming exodus of seasoned diplomats from the government, weakening our ability to promote our interests.”
The statement comes after Trump lashed out at Democrats in a tweet, saying, "The Democrats continue to Obstruct the confirmation of hundreds of good and talented people who are needed to run our government...A record in U.S. history. State Department, Ambassadors and many others are being slow walked. Senate must approve NOW!”
The Democrats continue to Obstruct the confirmation of hundreds of good and talented people who are needed to run our government...A record in U.S. history. State Department, Ambassadors and many others are being slow walked. Senate must approve NOW!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2018
Since its inception, the Trump administration has been sluggish in filling key positions, with hundreds of vacant jobs still open at the beginning of this year. Critics have levied this accusation against Trump repeatedly, pointing out that Trump’s job-filling rate has been far slower than previous administrations.
Trump’s statement ignores the fact that the department has had incredibly high turnover and, as Menendez argues, have failed to even nominate candidates for many positions.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Aaron Bernstein