How does Senate confirmation work?

In the upcoming weeks, President Trump’s nominees for secretary of state, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and secretary of veterans affairs will have confirmation hearings.

Whenever a president nominates someone to fill a position in his administration — whether it’s just after the election or another time during his term in office — that nominee’s appointment must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Somewhere between 1,200 and 1,400 government positions require confirmation. While many confirmation hearings take place just before and after a president takes office, the Senate must hold confirmation hearings for replacement appointments throughout a president’s term.

Here’s how it works:

Infographic of steps for Senate confirmation: background checks, financial disclosures, nomination letters, committee hearings, Senate debate and vote (State Dept./Julia Maruszewski)
(State Dept./Julia Maruszewski)

A version of this story was previously published on January 12, 2017.