Views & Perspectives | We deserve better than “acting” secretaries



Seven of the sixteen Trump cabinet positions have “acting” secretaries.

Defense, Homeland Security, Interior, Chief of Staff, Office of Management and Budget, Small Business Administration.

On April 10, President Trump told Americans that he was running the Department of Homeland Security. Two of the most important federal government agencies in terms of national security, protecting America and having a strong military around the world are the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. These departments as well as the other aforementioned Cabinet posts have individuals running them who have not been vetted by FBI background checks or considered by the United States Senate.

As a former cabinet secretary, I have experienced the vetting process, including an FBI background check and a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing. The vetting process yields cabinet secretaries who come to jobs with the support of the Congress and White House. The vetting experience gives a cabinet secretary the standing within their department to have the support of the career and professional staff.

My interpretation of the Trump method of naming acting cabinet officials is that it results in appointees lacking the leadership needed for running our government’s most important departments, particularly those departments that are charged with the safety of Americans and our friends in the world. This is not the way we should be running major government agencies. Americans deserve much better. We can and should do better for America.

CONGRATULATIONS to all those elected on April 2. Public service and serving your neighbors is a noble calling. Work hard and pay close attention to the voices of those you represent. To those who ran but did not prevail thank you for stepping over the threshold of political involvement. Stay involved and perhaps consider running again.

A special word of thanks to two individuals who have served Central Illinois with distinction, integrity and strong leadership for many decades, East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus and Peoria City Councilman Eric Turner.

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