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Trump's 'Acting' Cabinet Grows With Acosta Departure

President Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House on June 21, 2018. Just over a year later, he's had turnover in the departments of Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, Defense, Labor, and a number of lower agencies.

When Labor Secretary Alex Acosta steps down on July 19, his deputy Patrick Pizzella will step in as acting head of the department.

The acting secretary will have some company.

The Defense Department is currently led by acting Secretary Mark Esper, who is expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has been managing the humanitarian crisis at the border and enacting Trump's immigration policies. He also has acting deputies in key DHS agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Many other key agencies are also led by acting officials, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Food and Drug Administration — even the president's chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is in an acting role.

As NPR previously reported, the Trump administration has seen historic turnover.

The number of acting officials also means a diminished role for Congress, because various departments and agencies are being led by officials who were not confirmed for their jobs by the Senate.

Note: Labor Secretary Acosta will depart his post on July 19.

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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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