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