Refresh my memory but does the President have the unilateral power to appoint his cabinet, or does Congress have to confirm them? (I seem to remember some brouhaha that led to the attempted impeachment of Andrew Johnson).
Cabinet Secretaries, as well as many lower-level positions, are subject to confirmation by the Senate.
It’s based on Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution.
So the obvious next question: how much trouble will Trump have getting his nominees confirmed? Yes the Republicans hold a majority but they won’t necessarily give Trump a blank check, particularly if the behind-the-scenes power brokers want to bring Trump to heel.
If the Russia thing doesn’t get resolved, Tillerson might be the sacrificial lamb when he becomes a referendum on Trump’s coziness with Putin. I can’t see McCain voting for him.
With a majority of only 52, it would take only 3 defections to deny confirmation. Trump may have enough Republican enemies for that to be a problem in some cases.