Attorney General, Jeff Sessions – He has been an outspoken critic of the Voting Rights Act and is understood to be against voting rights and civil liberties. The racist seeming comments and legal decisions of his past have not been adequately explained nor has he shown that he has grown and evolved. The NACCP opposes him to the point of having an office sit in that led to several arrests.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – He bought Indy Mac from the FDIC, repackaged the company into One West and then sold the company for just under a 2 billion dollar profit. While owning One West he foreclosed on 35,000 people – infamously for someone being off by mere pennies on their mortgage payment. He profited greatly from the financial crisis. He does not seem to understand how or why this is problematic and clings to stating that he did nothing illegal as though legality and morality are one and the same. In addition there is a law suit against him claiming fraud – linked to a movie industry venture his company did.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross – There is not as much information on Mr. Ross’ positions, he is smashingly rich from private equity – in essence buying struggling businesses, repackaging them, cutting jobs or sending jobs overseas and then selling the restructured company. It is odd as this is exactly what Trump is supposedly railing against (the cutting of jobs and the outsourcing). Due to his huge wealth there are concerns about conflicts of interest. The biggest issue I see with Mr. Ross is an ultra loyalty to Trump’s agenda. Mr. Ross believes in changing NAFTA (which most economists state benefits the US and is a win-win trade deal) and he regards American manufacturing as being a victim, thus he wants to punish those countries that “cheat”. Not exactly sure how the richest country in the world is a victim….
Department of Labor Andrew Puzder – Mr. Puzder’s paperwork has not been turned in so he may not be the nominee for much longer. He was an attorney before going into the fast food business, as an attorney he defined a notorious mob affiliated business man. He has argued that labor regulations stifle economic growth, he is against the $15 minimum wage (and against lower minimum wages), against mandatory breaks, prefers automation to people in terms of labor, is against the ACA and finally is quite disrespectful of his employees calling them “the best of the worst” as well as of women, as evidenced by his infamous Carls Jr. commercials as well as his supportive comments about his commercials. Needless to say, labor rights advocates are against him
Department of Energy Rick Perry – Of key note is that Mr. Perry has zero experience regarding nuclear anything and the main duty of the DOE is managing the nation’s nuclear arsenal, literally everything involved with a nuclear weapon. Past DOE directors have been scientists. Historically Mr. Perry has been a climate change skeptic though now he states that “some climate change is manmade” but some is simply nature. His philosophy is that coping with climate change cannot interfere with the making of profit and he sees these two issues as being in easy harmony (he cites the increase in wind energy in TX while he was governor as an example of energy policy that generates monies and is good for the environment). He owns assets in the parent company of the DAPL and believes that clean coal exists.
Department of Health and Human Services Tom Price – Mr. Price has serious issues regarding investments he made into health related companies whose stocks received massive gains/benefits due to positions Mr. Price took in congress. In addition… Mr. Price introduced HR 2300, which failed, but was his vision for an alternative to the ACA, so needless to say he is against the ACA. The bill puts a cap on the tax exclusion for employer based insurance, meaning that employees would be paying taxes on the health care benefits they received. This could add $100s of dollars to people’s tax bills. He wanted to give people an opt out choice, out of their employer’s health care (VA, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare too) which the insurance industry states would lead to the problem of only older, sicker people staying within the employer health care plans, thus raising rates, etc…. He would give tax credits people could then use to buy insurance (though a tax credit is not new money, people are still having to allocate their actual cash for insurance coverage), however the credits he proposed seem shockingly low. In addition the bill banned anyone from using the tax credit monies towards an abortion, banned someone from buying insurance, via the tax credit, that covered abortions and would allow businesses to not provide abortions on religious rights arguments.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt – As the Attorney General in Oklahoma he put industry ahead of enforcing EPA laws (there is an infamous case of chicken manure….), he sued the EPA 14 times (he has stated that if one of his suites came before him while he was EPA director he would not recuse himself) – these suites were to block the regulations that he would be in charge of enforcing as head of the EPA. He is expected to cease aggressive environmental enforcement and to be collaborative with industry (for example the fossil fuel industry). He thinks that states should be responsible for their environments, not the federal government and has stated that the EPA laws are “unlawful and overreaching”. Finally he is a climate change denier.
Department of Education Betsy DeVos – The loudest criticism of her is that she has no experience with public schools, literally none – she never went to a public school and none of her children ever attended a public school. She is considered to be solely focused on school choice i.e. school vouchers, charter schools. She would support guns in schools, has no knowledge of disability laws pertaining to education, no knowledge of current thought within the education field, and is linked to extreme right platforms/philosophies.
Department of Health and Human Services Ben Carson – This is another nominee that knows nothing about the department he is going to head. He is deemed to lack understanding of poverty, the role of government in housing issues. He has “expressed disdain for HUD’s mission to decrease discrimination against non-white, disabled and LGBT” individuals. He is vehemently anti-gay, and seems to believe that vocalizing extreme religious positions is acceptable within government/by a government agent.
Department of the Interior Ryan Zinke – Mr. Zinke stated that he does not support the selling of public lands. He does regard that expanding fossil fuel exploration, extraction is appropriate on public lands; he has a history of weakening environmental regulations and deems drilling to be in harmony with environmental protections. It seems that Mr. Zinke deems land to have value if it is of benefit to people, be that via hunting, fishing or drilling. That land, its flora and fauna, may have value inherently onto itself does not seem to be part of his paradigm.
Department of Agriculture Sonny Perdue – Mr. Perdue also regards US agriculture to be the victim of international agreements. His background is predominantly in grain and fertilizer (sales & business owner). He is pro big chemical companies and large agricultural conglomerates; he took monies from Monsanto for his run for governor. It seems that he does not see agricultural as a process that ought to be in harmony with nature, he seems to regard agricultural as a commodity, possibly as dominating nature. During his tenure as governor of GA there was a significant drought and so he led a prayer asking God for rain and to forgive GA for being wasteful of water….