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How does Senate confirmation work?
February 25, 2021

(State Dept./Doug Thompson)


By Mark Trainer

Whenever a U.S. president nominates someone to fill a position in his administration — whether it’s just after the election or another time during his term in office — that nominee’s appointment must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Somewhere between 1,200 and 1,400 government positions require confirmation. While many confirmation hearings take place just before and after a president takes office, the Senate must hold confirmation hearings for replacement appointments throughout a president’s term.

Here’s how it works: