Trump's nominees are getting confirmed at half the pace of Obama's picks

Story highlights

  • Almost two in three of Trump's nominees so far are still waiting for a vote
  • Trump blames Democrats for obstruction, while Dems blame missing and delayed paperwork
  • Trump has formally nominated fewer people than both Obama and Bush at this point

(CNN)President Donald Trump has only filled 126 of his Senate-confirmed nomination slots so far in his presidency -- a number that lags far behind the number of confirmations at this point for George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

But Trump's slow pace of nominating his picks to their posts isn't the only reason he's falling behind.
While it's true Trump has nominated fewer people than his predecessors through his first eight months, the people he has nominated so far are moving through Congress slower than previous new presidents.
    Only 37% of the picks Trump has revealed so far have been confirmed on Capitol Hill, leaving almost two-thirds of Trump's picks still moving through the process heading toward an eventual confirmation vote.
    Obama's unified government in 2009 moved the nominations along swiftly, confirming seven in 10 of Obama's picks to this point. And in 2001, with a Senate divided virtually evenly, more than half of Bush's nominations so far had been confirmed.
    Trump has formally nominated 341 people to date, while Obama had nominated 444 and Bush had nominated 573, according to numbers from CNN and the Partnership for Public Service.
    In the meantime, both sides have generously heaped blame on just about everything you can imagine.
    Trump points to obstruction from Democrats as a reason for the slow progress, but it's still ultimately Republicans who control the calendar and committee process in the Senate.
    That hasn't stopped the White House from repeatedly bashing Democrats over the issue, saying they're involved in "unprecedented" obstruction in Congress. Democrats say the White House's failure to submit the full documentation for nominees -- along with necessary background checks and ethics paperwork -- is what's really holding up the nominations.