Biden, Harris to satisfy with civil rights leaders amid strain to diversify Cupboard

The call comes as Biden and Harris continued to come under pressure from a variety of stakeholders to make various decisions to implement Biden’s long-standing promise to appoint a cabinet that “looks like America” ​​- a promise Biden made Delivery for the rest of the month.

“Your job is to push me,” Biden said in an interview with CNN. “My job is to keep my commitment and make the decisions.”

Although the meeting is private, the leaders said they would hold a press conference afterwards.

PHOTO: President-elect Joe Biden speaks while Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris listens during an event to present their nominees and nominees for economic policy positions at the Queen Theater on December 1, 2020 in Wilmington, Del.

Despite the ongoing pressure campaign by some outside groups, Biden has claimed that if his full cabinet is announced it will be the most diverse in American history.

“I’m not going to tell you exactly what I’m going to do in a department now. But I promise you it will be the most diverse cabinet ever in race, color and gender in the United States, ”Biden told reporters last week during a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware.

The president-elect’s team has also stressed that the cabinet selection process is still at an early stage, highlighting the fact that several of Biden’s decisions have broken barriers to date, including the first women to run the country’s treasury and intelligence community and the first African American to serve as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and Deputy Treasury Secretary.

Biden’s decision to head both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services is also the first time a Latino has headed one of these agencies.

PHOTO: In this September 16, 2015 file photo, General Lloyd Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command, testifies before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Ahead of the news that retired General Lloyd Austin is expected to be the first African American to head the Department of Defense, the upper tier of Biden’s cabinet, including his secretary of state, finance minister, and chief of staff, remains largely white.

Another important position is the attorney general, a post that will become overly important after a summer of nationwide protests against racial injustice and the state of policing in America.

Biden turned it down when asked if he would appoint a black person for the role and has not yet announced when he will fill the position.

But African American leaders have publicly advocated other roles in a Biden Harris administration, including former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass, and former Black Caucus Chair , Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, who has expressed her desire to serve as Secretary of Agriculture.

PHOTO: Rep. Marcia Fudge speaks to reporters outside her office on November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Fudge, a past Delta Sigma Theta Sorority national president, was a long-time member of the House Agriculture Committee. She currently chairs the Nutrition, Oversight, and Departmental Operations Subcommittee.

“As this country becomes more diverse, we need to stop viewing certain agencies as those that people like me can fit into. You know, it’s always like we want to get the black person into work or HUD. “Fudge said Politico last month.

Fudge has assistance from Rep. Jim Clyburn DS.C. whose support for Biden helped him achieve a resounding victory after poor performances in early primary competitions in South Carolina.

In an interview on Tuesday, the South Carolina kingmaker was optimistic that Fudge would play a role in the cabinet.

“Look for her in the cabinet,” Clyburn said on MSNBC. “It may not be in agriculture, but it is being nominated for the cabinet.”

House Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries spoke about Fudge at a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday and said she was “an enormous Secretary of Agriculture” but said at the end of the day Biden would make the ultimate call to who serves in his Cabinet.

In the past few weeks, Fudge has also received support from several progressive groups, including People’s Action’s George Goehl, who said in a statement earlier this month: “With Rep. Marcia Fudge at the helm, the Department of Agriculture would have teeth again to maintain control . ” on agribusiness. “He noted,” Fudge has spent her career defending SNAP, a critical program to fight poverty in rural communities, against attacks by Republicans and reversing Trump’s baseless job demands. “

The meeting with civil rights leaders will come after Biden and Harris unveiled top members of their health team on Tuesday charged with guiding the federal government’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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