Cabinet of Donald Trump

Trump says appointing acting Cabinet heads grants "more flexibility"

 President Donald Trump.
Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told reporters outside the White House on Sunday that he’s "in no hurry" to replace his acting Cabinet secretaries with formal replacements, saying, "I have acting, and my actings are doing really great. ... I sort of like acting. It gives me more flexibility, do you understand that?"

Why it matters: Trump's attorney general, secretaries of Defense and Interior, EPA head, and UN ambassador are all working in acting capacities, despite being Senate-confirmed positions. The appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, in particular, came under fire as potentially unconstitutional — even from conservative legal scholars like John Yoo. And the Washington Post reported this week that Patrick Shanahan's position as acting Defense secretary could also be constitutionally murky. Furthermore, Trump, who campaigned on "draining the swamp," faced criticism for his acting secretaries' lobbying ties.

Top Trump officials will no longer receive scheduled pay raise

Vice President Mike Pence stands behind President Trump.
Photo: Michael Candelori/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Top Trump Cabinet and administration officials will no longer be receiving a previously planned pay raise, as the government shutdown enters its third week.

Details: The original $10,000 pay hikes were a consequence of the shutdown, as an existing freeze on raises for top federal executives expired when Congress failed to pass a spending bill in December. Margaret Weichert, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, said in a memo on Friday, however, that it would be "prudent for agencies to continue to pay these senior political officials at the frozen rate until appropriations legislation is enacted."

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