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12/26/16

US - Incoming Cabinet Appointees: Four Cabinet nominations that could blow up in Trump’s face - by Amber Phillips

With a 52-to-48 Senate majority next month, Republicans will have power in numbers. But a handful of independent-minded GOP senators could arguably have even more power.

Just three Republicans could derail some of Donald Trump's critical Cabinet-level nominations, which need to be approved by a 51-vote majority of the U.S. Senate. (After Senate Democrats got rid of the filibuster in 2013 for nominations like these, they essentially took away their ability to block Trump's nominations, because a filibuster would have essentially translated into a 60-vote confirmation requirement.)

History suggests it's very rare for senators from the president's own party to block his Cabinet appointments. But it is a possibility for several of Trump's picks.

Here are four of Trump's nominations that could draw support from most Republicans — but resistance from a critical few: 

Rex Tillerson: Secretary of state: Tillerson has extensive business ties to Russia and, specifically, to President Vladimir Putin. 

Jeff Sessions: Attorney general: Trump awarded one of his earliest Capitol Hill supporters with the nation's top law enforcement job. Sessions — a hard-line anti-immigration politician

Steven Mnuchin: Treasury secretary: Like Trump, the former Goldman Sachs executive and finance director of Trump's campaign has no former experience in government. 

James Mattis: Defense secretary :In the Marines, retired Gen. James Mattis is a legend. His gritty, no-nonsense, hard-charging style earned him the battlefield nickname "Mad Dog,",  a high compliment in Marine culture and one that Trump apparently appreciates - but probably not so much appreciated on the Global scene.  Congress also has a 65-year-old law that defense secretaries can't have been on active duty in the previous seven years, a somewhat symbolic reminder from our government that the military serves to help civilians. Mattis retired in 2013. James Mattis: Defense secretary::

Read more: Four Cabinet nominations that could blow up in Donald Trump’s face - The Washington Post

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