The Cabinet of President Joe Biden is starting to take shape and, of course, West Virginia's two U.S. Senators are playing a role.
Confirmation hearings began just prior to President Donald Trump leaving office, and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) are currently in the process of cementing the first officials of the administration.
In order for a nominee to be confirmed, he or she must receive a majority vote of the United States Senate. So far, each nominee presented to the Senate has done so.
As of Wednesday evening, three Cabinet members, as well as one Cabinet-level official, have been confirmed and have taken office.
The first, Gen. Lloyd Austin, was confirmed to serve as Secretary of Defense on Jan. 22 by a 93-2 vote, making him the first Black person to serve in the role.
Manchin voted yes, while Capito did not vote.
"After meeting with Secretary Austin and questioning him during his nomination hearing, I truly believe he is the right person to lead the Department of Defense," Manchin said in a statement. "His more than 40 year career of serving in a subordinate nature to civilian authority provides a unique background to reinforce the example of civilian leadership of our military, and that example is desperately needed as we return to a sense of normalcy."
Austin's confirmation was followed by that of Janet Yellen, who was confirmed by an 84-15 vote to lead the Treasury Department on Jan. 25, and was sworn in the following day.
Both Manchin and Capito supported the confirmation.
"As Federal Reserve Chair, she has demonstrated her willingness to support an economy that fosters good jobs and wages for the American people," Manchin said in a statement. "Secretary Yellen is also dedicated to addressing our national debt so future generations don’t endure the burden of our financial decisions. I look forward to working with Secretary Yellen to help reinvigorate the economy and put Americans back to work.”
Most recently, Antony Blinken, a former deputy in the Obama Administration, was confirmed to serve as Secretary of State. Seventy-eight senators voted in favor of confirmation on Jan. 26, with 22 senators opposed.
Manchin and Capito both voted in favor of confirmation.
"Secretary Blinken understands the need to strengthen our international relationships in order to keep Americans safe around the world and ensure stability for increased economic ties to boost our economy," Manchin said in a statement. "Secretary Blinken has extensive experience in foreign relations from his time as Deputy Secretary of State which will be essential to rebuilding our relationships abroad."
On Wednesday, hearings to examine the nominations of Jennifer Granholm (Secretary of Energy), Pete Buttigieg (Secretary of Transportation) and Denis McDonough (Secretary of Veterans' Affairs) took place in committee.