Senate Confirms Rosen for DOJ Post by Party-Line Vote

May 17, 2019

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen to be Deputy Attorney General of the United States. The vote was 52 to 45 and was completely party-line except that Senators Alexander (R-TN), Gillibrand (D-NY) and Harris (D-CA) did not vote.

Rosen was nominated by President Trump to replace Rod Rosenstein as Deputy AG on March 26, had a confirmation hearing on April 10, was approved by the Judiciary Committee on May 9, and got his floor vote on May 16 (after a cloture vote on May 15). This is an extremely quick pace for a sub-Cabinet nominee in this day and age.

Rosen’s confirmation to the new post of course leaves a vacancy at the Department of Transportation in the #2 slot, and unfortunately it is doubtful that the process of replacing Rosen at DOT will move as fast as the process of replacing Rosenstein at Justice.

In case anyone was wondering what the Deputy Secretary of Transportation does, here is the job description from section 1 of title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations:

1.22 Deputy Secretary. Along with the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary exercises oversight of all of the OST components, as well as each of the Operating Administrations, and overall planning, direction, and control of the Department’s agenda. The Deputy Secretary:

(a) May exercise the authority of the Secretary, except where specifically limited by law, order, regulation, or instructions of the Secretary;

(b) Serves as the Chief Operating Officer; and

(c) Serves as the Chief Acquisition Officer.

1.23 Delegations to the Deputy Secretary. The Deputy Secretary may exercise the authority of the Secretary, except where specifically limited by law, order, regulations, or instructions of the Secretary. In addition, the Deputy Secretary is delegated authority to:

(a) Exercise executive control over Departmental Budgeting and Program Evaluation.

(b) Serve as Chairman of the Departmental Executive Resources Board and its Executive Committee.

(c) Serve as the Chair of the Department’s Safety Council.

(d) Serve as the Chair of the Department’s Credit Council.

(e) Approve the establishment, modification, extension, or termination of:

(1) Department-wide (intra-department) committees affecting more than one program.

(2) OST-sponsored interagency committees.

(f) Approve the designation of:

(1) Departmental representatives and the chairman for interagency committees sponsored by the Office of the Secretary.

(2) Departmental members for international committees.

(g) Serve as the representative of the Secretary on the board of directors of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation and carry out the functions vested in the Secretary as a member of the board by 49 U.S.C. 24302.

(h) Approve the initiation of regulatory action, as defined in Executive Order 12866, by Secretarial offices and Operating Administrations.

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