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At the ceremony, the president joked to congressional leaders he was confident the nominations would be handled "at great dispatch."

Sen. Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAmendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary MORE (D-Nev.) also appeared to snag one of the ceremonial pens being used to sign the official nominations. Observing the move, the president offered Reid a pen from his jacket pocket instead.

The White House also announced that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric ShinsekiEric Ken ShinsekiTrump VA pick boosts hopes for reform Trump VA pick faces challenge to convince senators he’s ready for job Is Ronny Jackson qualified to be the next VA secretary? Let's look at his predecessors MORE would be the Cabinet official sitting out the inaugural festivities, a security precaution taken for large collections of top leaders. Shinseki is sixteenth in the presidential line of succession, above only Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Obama also signed a proclamation to commemorate the inauguration while at the Capitol.


—This post was updated at 12:50 p.m.