| USA TODAY
Biden calls on Senate to consider Cabinet promptly
President-elect Joe Biden rolled out Cabinet picks for his national security team Tuesday, saying his choices will “make us proud to be Americans.” Biden also called on the Senate to take up his nominations quickly and “in good faith.” (Nov. 24)
President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday tamped down the possibility of nominating Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to Cabinet positions, and instead suggested he would like too keep them in the Senate to push forward his progressive agenda.
During an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, the reporter asked Biden if he had talked to his former primary rivals about Cabinet roles.
“We already have significant representation among progressives in our administration, but there’s nothing really off the table,” the president-elect said.
Biden said there would be downsides to tapping a Democratic House or Senate member.
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“One thing is really critical, taking someone out of the Senate, taking someone out of the House, particularly a person of consequence, is a really difficult decision that would have to be made,” he said. “I have a very ambitious, very progressive agenda, and it’s going to take really strong leaders in the House and Senate to get it done.”
Sanders has reportedly been vying for the labor secretary position. During an interview with CNN this month, Sanders said he would accept the nomination if Biden appointed him to that position.
“If I had a portfolio that allowed me to stand up and fight for working families, would I do it? Yes, I would,” Sanders said.
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Progressives have also pushed for Warren to be nominated as Treasury secretary. However, Biden will appoint Janet Yellen, who is supported by both moderates and progressives.
Biden has announced several appointments to his administration this week, including Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of Homeland Security, who would be the first immigrant and first Latino to hold the post; Antony Blinken as secretary of state; Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and Avril Haines to lead the U.S. intelligence community.
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When asked whether he would nominate or select a Republican or “someone who voted for President Trump,” Biden said yes.
Biden’s comments will likely draw the ire of progressives. Throughout the campaign, Biden often highlighted Republicans who supported his campaign like Cindy McCain, widow of the late Sen. John McCain, and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who gave brief remarks at the Democratic National Convention.
“I want this country to be united,” Biden said. “The purpose of our administration is once again reunited. We can’t keep this virial and political dialogue going. It has to end.”
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Declaring “America is back,” President-elect Joe Biden introduces selections for his national security team, relying on foreign policy and national security experts from the Democratic establishment to be some of his most important advisers. (Nov. 24)