High-profile vacancies atop the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services have left White House officials searching for candidates to fill two of the Cabinet posts most closely associated with President Trump's agenda.
Despite the importance of healthcare and immigration policies to Trump, who championed overhauls to both on the campaign trail, the White House has not yet settled on leading contenders for either open post. DHS has weathered a trio of devastating hurricanes and the initiation of a legislative debate about immigration reform with a temporary leader at its helm for more than two months.
Elaine Duke, acting DHS head, has presided over the agency since Trump elevated his original DHS secretary, John Kelly, to White House chief of staff in late July.
The resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price last week capped off months of healthcare failures on Capitol Hill, where Trump's team had once hoped Price would wield influence due to his years of experience as a congressman from Georgia. Trump was frustrated by the collapse of Obamacare repeal efforts, but ultimately dismissed his HHS secretary over the unrelated controversy surrounding Price's private jet use.