How does Senate confirmation work?

(State Dept./Doug Thompson)

Before President-elect Trump’s Cabinet choices can start work, their appointments must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Somewhere between 1,200 and 1,400 government positions require confirmation. While presidents make replacement appointments throughout their term of office, new presidents make many appointments right away. This obliges the Senate to hold many confirmation hearings just before, and after, a new president takes office.

Here’s how it works: