Who Must Approve Presidential Appointments?

While a president has the opportunity to appoint individuals to more than 7,000 positions, about 1,000 of them must be approved by the U.S. Senate. This system was established by Article 2 of the Constitution, which authorizes the president to make appointments "with the Advice and Consent of the Senate."

Among the appointees that must be approved are the secretaries of the 15 Cabinet agencies, including the Department of State, Department of Defense and Department of Justice. About 120 positions in executive agencies require approval, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. The Senate must confirm about 130 appointees to regulatory agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, approximately 200 U.S. attorneys and marshals, 150 ambassadors, and 160 part-time positions must be approved.