Under leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican senators will hold great sway in confirming Biden's nominees regardless of which party holds the majority after runoff elections in January. Biden will have little room to maneuver and few votes to spare.
As Biden rolled out his economic team Tuesday — after introducing his national security team last week — he asked the Senate to give his nominees prompt review, saying they "deserve and expect nothing less."
But that seems unlikely. Republicans are swiftly signaling that they're eager to set the terms of debate and exact a price for their votes. Biden's choice for budget chief, Neera Tanden, was instantly rejected as "radioactive." His secretary of state nominee, Antony Blinken, quickly ran into resistance from GOP senators blasting his record amid their own potential 2024 White House campaigns.
Trump's nominees faced enormous resistance from Senate Democrats, who used their minority-party status to slow-walk confirmation for even lower-level positions. It's been an escalation of the Senate's procedural battles for at least a decade.