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Record number of women to serve in Biden Cabinet

Record number of women to serve in Biden Cabinet
© AP/Pool

A record number of women are slated to serve in President Biden’s Cabinet, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). 

A tally by the political unit, which operates out of Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics, shows that 12 women are slated to serve in Cabinet-level positions in the new administration — the highest number in American history.

Eleven of the 12 women set to serve in the Cabinet, which includes Vice President Harris, are still awaiting confirmation from the Senate.

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Of those women, eight are women of color. The CAWP said the previous record for the number of women "serving concurrently in Cabinet-level positions was nine, during the second term of President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWhite House pushes back on claims Biden doing too little on voting rights The Memo: Some Democrats worry rising crime will cost them Boeing's top lobbyist leaves company MORE."

Those nominees include Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeOn The Money: Powell says pickup in job gains likely this fall | Schumer, Pelosi meeting with White House on infrastructure On The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling HUD secretary links student loan debt to decline in Black homeownership MORE (D-Ohio) to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA to review part of cancer-linked chemical regulation after industry request | House GOP to launch climate caucus | Haaland announces program to review impact of Native boarding schools Cleaner US gas can reduce Europe's reliance on Russian energy Overnight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve MORE to lead the Department of Energy; Isabel Guzman to head the Small Business Administration; Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA to review part of cancer-linked chemical regulation after industry request | House GOP to launch climate caucus | Haaland announces program to review impact of Native boarding schools Haaland announces program to review impact of Native American boarding schools Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior MORE (D-N.M.) to lead the Department of the Interior; Avril Haines to serve as Director of National Intelligence (DNI); and Rhode Island Gov. Gina RaimondoGina RaimondoTime to tackle the pandemic's economic disruptions Chinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report US, EU establish trade and technology council to compete with China MORE (D) for Commerce secretary. 

Katherine TaiKatherine TaiBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal US, EU establish trade and technology council to compete with China US, EU reach deal to end 17-year aircraft trade dispute MORE was also selected by Biden to serve as the U.S. trade representative, along with Neera TandenNeera TandenBiden's no-drama White House chief Manchin isn't ready to support Democrats passing infrastructure on their own Republicans target Trump critic's role at DOJ MORE to head up the Office of Management and Budget, Linda Thomas-GreenfieldLinda Thomas-GreenfieldNikki Haley warns Republicans on China: 'If they take Taiwan, it's all over' US ambassador to UN to travel to Syria border town amid debate over humanitarian aid Harris, Hispanic Caucus meet on Central America MORE to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenAs climate threats escalate, ESG needs an 'R' for resilience On The Money: Powell says pickup in job gains likely this fall | Schumer, Pelosi meeting with White House on infrastructure Powell says pickup in job gains likely this fall MORE to serve as secretary of the Treasury. 

News from the political group comes as the nominees may face a slightly easier time moving through the Senate confirmation process. Democrats secured control of the upper chamber after the victories of the Rev. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockRacial reparations at the USDA Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda Democrats seek new ways to expand Medicaid in holdout states MORE and Jon OssoffJon OssoffOssoff introduces solar energy tax credit legislation Democrats seek new ways to expand Medicaid in holdout states Stacey Abrams calls on young voters of color to support election reform bill MORE in the Georgia runoff elections Jan. 5. 

A number of Biden's picks would also be historic firsts in their own right.

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If confirmed, Haaland would be the first Native American to serve in a Cabinet-level role. Haines would the first woman to serve as DNI, and Tai would be the nation’s first Asian American and woman of color to serve as U.S. trade representative.

If all of the nominations are confirmed by the Senate, women would hold roughly 48 percent of “the Cabinet and Cabinet-level positions in the Biden-Harris administration at its outset,” the CAWP said in a release Wednesday.

The news comes several months after Biden and Harris announced in November that the White House would also have an entirely female communications team. The Biden transition team said at the time that it would be the first time the White House communications team would be comprised solely of women.

Biden and Harris touted the staff — which includes Symone SandersSymone SandersHarris discusses voting rights with advocates in South Carolina White House 'looking into' woman claiming to be reporter at Harris press conference Harris's plane forced to return to Andrews after 'technical issue' MORE, Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-PierreBiden steps up pressure on Russia to go after cyber criminals FBI says Russia-linked group behind JBS hack All JBS beef plants in US forced to halt production after cyberattack MORE and Kate BedingfieldKate BedingfieldBiden, Putin begin high-stakes summit in Geneva Psaki signals she'll step down next year Fauci vs. Rogan: White House works to stomp out misinformation MORE — as “diverse, experienced, and talented” at the time. 

“Communicating directly and truthfully to the American people is one of the most important duties of a President, and this team will be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of connecting the American people to the White House,” Biden remarked.

Ahead of his and Harris’s swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, the pair also announced the formation of a White House Gender Policy Council, an effort they said will be aimed at advancing the country toward gender equality as their administration works to build the “nation back better.”