Following a recent meeting with the president-elect’s top aides, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller told Politico Monday that radical transformation of federal agencies is to begin immediately after the inauguration. “It won’t take six months,” he said. “It’ll be less than that. They’ll look different in 30 days.”
Politico raises all the appropriate skepticism about this claim, noting the resistance the Trump administration will likely meet from an entrenched bureaucracy and even some congressional Republicans. But the publication also reports that Trump is planning to give his cabinet secretaries a “long leash,” essentially letting them pursue their own priorities unless something comes across his radar he doesn’t like. They’ll be the ones filling in the president-elect’s policy agenda.
Trump’s hands-off approach could easily backfire. His disinterest in details means he probably won’t grasp all the implications of privatizing public education, as Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos would like to do, or privatizing Medicare, a priority of Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price. And these policies won’t necessarily sit well with all of Trump’s supporters.
What is clear, though, is that the cabinet confirmation hearings getting underway Tuesday will offer some of the first concrete insights into Trump’s actual agenda.