You could dub them the “roll-back cabinet” – Donald Trump’s nominees who are hostile to the very government agencies that they have been selected to lead.
In confirmation hearings this week, Democrats have decried and Republicans have rallied behind an Environmental Protection Agency appointee who has sued the agency 14 times (Scott Pruitt); a proposed Health secretary who promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Tom Price); and a billionaire who would be the nation’s top public educator but who supports vouchers to help kids leave public schools for private ones (Betsy DeVos).
Then there’s the designated Labor secretary who opposes significant increases in the minimum wage (Andy Puzder) and the proposed Energy secretary who, as a presidential candidate, called for the department’s abolishment (Rick Perry). Mr. Perry, however, walked back those comments during his confirmation hearing Thursday, saying, “after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination.”
As a nation, America has been here before. Historians point to 1981, when Ronald Reagan also appointed cabinet secretaries who wanted to dismantle policies and programs in the departments they led.