Activities  Home  K-4  5-8  9-12   Geo Quiz   Vocabulary Quiz   NewsVideo   Cartoons   Talking Points  Science Webcast 

Additional Resources for Your Classroom

Find over 300 resources that include teacher guides, student supplements, teacher training modules and so much more.

Click here to access instructional material

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


The president’s team: Six cabinet seats remain empty more than a month after Trump took office

Look for a cabinet member's name or photo. What department does she or he lead?
Read news about any federal agency and tell how its work could affect students and their families.
Now find coverage of a federal policy or issue being debated and summarize a few key points.

President Trump, sworn in just over five weeks ago, already has one record he'd rather not set. Senators have confirmed only nine of his 15 cabinet nominees. No other U.S. president in the modern era has waited this long for final approval of all department heads. "I hate having a cabinet meeting and I see all these empty seats,” Trump said last Friday. Earlier, he tweeted: “It is a disgrace that my full cabinet is still not in place."

Six vacancies exist partly because Democrats say some nominees have not had adequate background checks and others aren't qualified. That stalls action by committees that must send each nomination to the full Senate for a vote. In one case, fast-food executive Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration as labor secretary a day before his committee hearing amid criticism of his business record and personal character. In a few cases, delays arise because of relatively late nominations. Trump announced Department of Veterans Affairs nominee David Shulkin just nine days before the inauguration and unveiled Department of Agriculture pick Sonny Perdue just two days before taking the oath of office. Shulkin was confirmed unanimously Feb. 13, but Perdue still awaits a committee hearing.

On the Republican side, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky say: "Democrat obstruction has reached new extreme levels." He calls that a "historic break with tradition" and adds: "It's time to finally accept the results of the election and move on." Although the review process overall is slower than usual, the Senate – which has a 52-member Republican majority -- hasn’t rejected anyone nominated by the Republican president. The closest call came Feb. 7, when Betsy DeVos was approved as education secretary by 51–50 – with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a tie vote.

President says: "It's just delay, delay, delay - it's really sad." – At a Conservative Political Action Committee meeting in Washington, Feb. 24

Senate Democratic leader say: "This is not even close to a normal Cabinet. I have never seen a Cabinet this full of bankers and billionaires, folks with massive conflicts of interest and such little experience or expertise in the areas they will oversee." – Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York

Columnist says: "He has, to his credit, assembled a reasonably competent cabinet." – Ross Douthat, New York Times

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2017
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Crusaders with clout: Tech field billionaires donate big-time to improve U.S. schools

Rifle fire at U.S. House baseball practice: Gun debate suddenly is more personal for Congress

Not Harvard-worthy after all: Social media missteps are costly for at least 10 high school grads

U.S. pullout undercuts global climate agreement aimed at protecting planet

History and healing: Civil War generals come off their pedestals in the South

Department stores and malls may be an endangered species as more of us shop online

Trump dismissal of FBI director James Comey will have long-lasting political and maybe legal fallout

‘Smart driving’ apps keep new motorists safety-conscious and keep parents more at ease

Symbolic benchmark: President Trump and others look at his first 100 days in office

Bleached-out coral, a climate change sign, alarms scientists for a second straight year

Complete archive