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Chico State students talk about Trump’s Cabinet

Nicholas Feeley

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President Donald Trump’s cabinet is in the process of being confirmed by the Senate. The United States cabinet of the president consists of the vice president and the 15 secretaries for each of the 15 executive departments.

Chico State Republicans and Democrats have differing opinions on Trump’s nominees.

Jack Breuker, executive director of the Chico State Republican club and regional political director for the Republican Party, said he has a positive view of Trump’s administrative lineup.

“I am very optimistic about how Trump’s cabinet is shaping up,” Breuker said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the Trump cabinet works with House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican Congress.”

Jeremy Markley, president of the Chico State Democrat club and director of the youth task force Mobilize Chico, said the Democrats are weary of Trump’s choices and see a different narrative taking place in the Capitol.

“They are exactly what I expected them to be, they are terrible,” said Markley. “His cabinet picks are consistently rich, consistently racist and consistently tied to Russia.”

Here are Trump’s picks.

1. Rex Tillerson is the nominee for secretary of state.

Democrats have criticized Tillerson for conflicts of interest as former CEO of Exxon Mobil and his ties to Russia. Tillerson won the highest award from the Russian government that a non-Russian civilian can earn.

Outside of the political organizations on campus, other students also have concerns about Trump’s pick for secretary of state.

Breuker said he thought Trump would go in a different direction.

“I wasn’t displeased, but I was looking for someone more like Mitt Romney,” Breuker said.

2. Steven Mnuchin is the nominee for secretary of the treasury.

He is a former senior executive at Goldman Sachs and has no former government experience.

3. General James Mattis is the nominee for secretary of defense.

Mattis has strong support from both parties. Mattis served 44 years in the military, but this will be his first civilian post. Regarding Mattis, Markley said he “seems like a competent man who may do a good job.”

4. Senator Jeff Sessions is the nominee for attorney general.

Sessions received allegations of making racist comments and praising individuals who are involved in the KKK.

“Jeff Sessions did a lot of work in the south involving civil rights law, and in some cases he was helpful, and in others, he was actively sabotaging efforts,” Markley said.

5. Representative Ryan Zinke is the nominee for secretary of the interior.

Zinke has expressed a desire to convert Medicare into a voucher program.

6. Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue is the nominee for secretary of agriculture.

Perdue has a background in agriculture, receiving his doctorate in veterinary medicine. A former Democrat, Perdue switched to the Republican Party before serving his two terms as Georgia governor.

7. Wilbur Ross has been nominated to be the secretary of commerce.

He is another billionaire and businessman like Mnuchin and has no previous government experience.

8. Andrew Puzder has been nominated to be secretary of labor.

He is known for being the CEO at CKE Restaurants, owner multiple restaurant chains including Carl’s Jr. He has no prior government experience.

9. Representative Tom Price has been nominated to be secretary of health and human services.

He has expressed opposition to Obamacare.

10. Dr. Ben Carson is the nominee for secretary of housing and urban development.

He is best known for being the brain surgeon who ran against Trump in the primaries. He has no prior government experience.

11. Elaine Chao is the nominee for the secretary of transportation.

She served as secretary of labor under President George W. Bush.

12. Rick Perry is the nominee for secretary of energy.

Perry is the former governor of Texas. He made statements in a 2011 Republican primary debate in which he stated that he would get rid of the department of energy if he were elected president.

13. Betsy DeVos is the nominee for secretary of education.

She has no prior government experience. Expanding charter school funding dramatically is on the top of her agenda.

14. Dr. David Shulkin is the nominee for secretary of veterans affairs.

He is the only Trump nominee who served in the Obama administration.

15. Former General John Kelly is the nominee for secretary of homeland security.

He has been in the military for 40 years.

Breuker said he wants Chico State students to have a more open approach to Trump’s governance.

“I want my fellow wildcats and fellow Americans to keep an open mind about the Trump administration and really evaluate the administration’s policy in a rational and objective manner,” continued Breuker.

Markley still expressed concern.

“Students should be pissed the hell off, we deserve leaders who know what they’re doing and care about the community rather than lining their own pockets,” Markley said. “This looks like a cabinet of rich people who are interested in rich people things.”

Nicholas Feeley can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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Chico State students talk about Trump’s Cabinet