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CHC urges Biden to choose Latinos to head Education Department, SBA: report

CHC urges Biden to choose Latinos to head Education Department, SBA: report
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Hispanic lawmakers are urging President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Myanmar military conducts violent night raids Confidence in coronavirus vaccines has grown with majority now saying they want it MORE to appoint more Latinos to his future administration's Cabinet.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) sent a letter to the Biden transition team on Friday advocating for Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaDeVos's student aid chief resigns from Education Department Biden faces criticism over push to vaccinate teachers Overnight Health Care: Biden slams Texas, Mississippi for lifting coronavirus restrictions: 'Neanderthal thinking' | Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra |Over 200K sign up for ACA plans during Biden special enrollment period MORE to serve as Education secretary, Politico reported.

They’re also urging Biden to pick Stacie Olivares to lead the Small Business Administration.

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“The members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) are proud to offer our enthusiastic endorsement of Mr. Miguel Cardona for Secretary of Education and of Ms. Stacie Olivares for Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA),” the lawmakers wrote in the letter, first obtained by Politico. 

The letter highlighted Cardona’s career, from being an elementary school teacher to the first Latino to be education commissioner in Connecticut. The support for Cardona is a change for the caucus, which previously endorsed Lily Eskelen García for the role.

The Hill reported last Tuesday that Eskelen García — the former president of the National Education Association — was the front-runner for the role, although several candidates were still being interviewed. 

However, the lawmakers said they still supported her.  

“We had previously sent a support letter for Lily Eskelsen Garcia for Secretary of Education and we remain strongly supportive of her,” the letter says.

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The letter also highlights Olivares’ level of experience,  saying she would “lead the Small Business Administration with distinction from day one.”

Biden has been under pressure to build a Cabinet that reflects America’s diversity, and Hispanic lawmakers and organizations have pushed for Biden to appoint at least five Latino members to his Cabinet.

The letters comes after the transition team reportedly leaked that New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamMore states follow California's lead on vehicle emissions standards New Mexico fines two megachurches K each over packed Christmas Eve services CHC urges Biden to choose Latinos to head Education Department, SBA: report MORE (D) turned down an offer to serve as Biden’s Interior secretary, a position that was ultimately filled by nominee Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandTrump promises to travel to Alaska to campaign against Murkowski Indigenous leadership is a linchpin to solving environmental crises The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Virus relief bill headed for weekend vote MORE (D-N.M.). 

The news was surprising to the CHC, which backed Lujan Grisham to serve as Health and Human Services secretary. 

The Caucus “laid into the transition team” during a virtual meeting on the matter, expressing frustration at the way Lujan Grisham was treated, a source told The Hill.

Biden selected California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Health Care: Biden slams Texas, Mississippi for lifting coronavirus restrictions: 'Neanderthal thinking' | Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra |Over 200K sign up for ACA plans during Biden special enrollment period Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra GOP targets Manchin, Sinema, Kelly on Becerra MORE (D) for that role earlier this month

The transition has committed to putting a Latina in a Cabinet role.

A spokesperson for the transition didn't directly comment on the CHC's letter, but pointed to Biden's remarks from last Wednesday when he introduced former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Senate begins marathon vote-a-rama before .9T COVID-19 relief passage The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Virus relief bill headed for weekend vote Biden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks MORE (D) to serve as Transportation secretary.

“This Cabinet will be the most representative of any Cabinet in American history,” Biden said before introducing Buttigieg. “We’ll have a cabinet of barrier breakers, a Cabinet of firsts.”

Biden has touted his Cabinet as the most diverse in history amid criticism that it isn't diverse enough. The president-elect has rolled out 19 Cabinet positions out of about two dozen, 11 of whom are people of color and 10 of whom are women.

Among his picks, Biden has selected Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasPsaki: 'We don't take advice' from Trump on immigration MSNBC's Jacob Soboroff doesn't let falling equipment stop his report Republicans call for hearing on Biden's handling of border surge MORE to lead the Department of Homeland Security, the first Latino to lead DHS.

The Hill has reached out to the CHC for comment.

--Updated on Dec. 20 at 2:09 p.m.