With cabinet positions dwindling, Biden has yet to select a Latina
Biden was nominated to the presidency largely by Black women and Latinas. So where are the Latinas in his cabinet?
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In previous administrations, the highest number of Latinos who have served in Cabinet-level positions was four. So far, the Biden-Harris Administration has selected two Latinos — a far cry from the five that multiple Latino groups would like to see accomplished.
It’s also missing Latina representation.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is lobbying President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Lily Eskelsen García for Education secretary.
Led by CHC Chair, Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-TX) and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D,TX) Latino lawmakers recently sent a letter to the Biden transition, urging Biden to name Eskelsen García for the position.
Other than the CHC, Eskelsen García is also backed by a coalition of over 40 Latino advocacy groups.
With only eight positions left, the outlook for further Latinx representation within Biden’s Cabinet is grim, and if said advocacy leads to Biden’s selection of a Latina for the Education Secretary, that still only results in three Latinx cabinet members, pending confirmation.
A retired president of the largest union of educators, the 3 million-member National Education Association,Eskelsen García is considered a top contender for the position.
The Hispanic Caucus’ endorsement comes as some members have expressed increased concern about the absence of a Latina in Biden’s Cabinet picks to date, highlighted after some Latinx lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction at their perceived “snub” of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, from a potential cabinet position.
The Hispanic Caucus recently spoke to Vice President-elect Sen. Kamala Harris on the outstanding issue.
“Hispanic Caucus had a great conversation with Vice President Elect Kamala Harris. We discussed the importance of COVID relief, undoing the damage of the Trump admin, the historic nominations of Xavier Becerra & [Alejandro Mayorkas] — and our hope to see Latinas included in the Cabinet,” wrote Rep. Castro.
.@HispanicCaucus had a great conversation with Vice President-Elect @KamalaHarris.— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) December 10, 2020
We discussed the importance of COVID relief, undoing the damage of the Trump admin, the historic nominations of @XavierBecerra & @AliMayorkas — and our hope to see Latinas included in the Cabinet.
The remaining cabinet positions include Attorney General, Commerce Secretary, Labor Secretary, Transportation Secretary, Energy Secretary, Interior Secretary, EPA Administrator, and Education Secretary.
Apart from Education Secretary, the only other position where there are rumors of a possible Latino selection is Attorney General — Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, former Secretary of Labor and former assistant attorney general civil rights — may have a shot at the position.
Still, no additional Latina that is known of is being considered for a cabinet position.
According to NBC exit polls, 66% of Latinos voted for Biden. Their votes were essential to cement a win that stemmed from flipping Arizona, and the ability to hold on to Nevada.
For an administration that emphasized diversity throughout the campaign trail, Biden’s Cabinet selections so far have been sobering for many.