Obama Cabinet Nominees

Barack Obama met privately with senators in the Capitol on Tuesday as finishing touches were being worked out on an economic recovery package that the president-elect hopes Congress will soon enact. In nearby committee rooms, Obama's picks to serve in his Cabinet faced senators at confirmation hearings. Senator Bernie Sanders questioned Obama's choices to head the energy and education departments, while Senator Hillary Clinton testified before the panel considering her nomination to be Secretary

Barack Obama met privately with senators in the Capitol on Tuesday as finishing touches were being worked out on an economic recovery package that the president-elect hopes Congress will soon enact. In nearby committee rooms, Obama's picks to serve in his Cabinet faced senators at confirmation hearings. Senator Bernie Sanders questioned Obama's choices to head the energy and education departments, while Senator Hillary Clinton testified before the panel considering her nomination to be Secretary of State.

Appearing before the Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton called for a "smart power" strategy in the Middle East. She also testified about Obama's intentions to renew American leadership in the world and strengthen U.S. diplomacy.

In the energy committee, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu pledged to address the causes of climate change and talked about ways to achieve energy independence by developing sources of clean energy. Sanders asked about ways to promote solar energy. The senator also put in a plug for bringing energy research programs to the University of Vermont.

At a separate hearing of the education committee, Chicago public schools chief Arne Duncan faced questions about school reform. During his campaign, Obama pledged to overhaul President Bush's No Child Left Behind law. Sanders asked Duncan about early childhood education and questioned him about his ideas on how to make higher education affordable.

Obama's choice to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to field questions at a hearing on Wednesday about her selection to lead the agency. "I think she's going to be a big improvement over what we have right now," Sanders told Dow Jones.


To watch video of Sen. Sanders and Secretary of Energy designate Steven Chu, click here.

To watch video of Sen. Sanders' exchange with Secretary of Education designate Arne Duncan, click here.

To see pictures of Sen. Sanders' meetings with Obama's nominees, click here.