Biden says Cabinet ‘looks like America’ at first meeting
President Biden on Thursday, in his first Cabinet meeting since 15 of his nominees were confirmed, praised his team for accurately representing America’s diverse population.
“This is the first in American history that the Cabinet looks like America,” Biden said. “That’s what we promised we were going to do, and we’ve done it.”
Among Biden’s Cabinet members are Lloyd Austin, the first Black defense secretary, Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay Cabinet member, Deb Haaland, the first Native American secretary, and Kamala Harris, the first female vice president, among others.
Biden thanked the Senate for acting in a speedy, bipartisan manner to approve his “historic” nominees.
“It’s hard to believe, but we are among the quickest formed [Cabinets],” Biden added.
Biden’s first Cabinet meeting a little over a week after his final nominee was confirmed on March 22, with the exception of the director of the Office of Management and Budget. The position is temporarily being filled by Shalanda Young, as Biden’s original nominee, Neera Tanden, withdrew her nomination after lawmakers opposed her confirmation over past tweets.
Biden faced criticism over a lack of diversity in his potential Cabinet during its formation, most recently from Democratic Sens. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), who protested there not being a nominee who was either Asian American or Pacific Islander. The two senators last week threatened to object to any future Biden nominees.
They dropped their objection threats after the White House appointed a senior-level Asian American and Pacific Islander liaison.
“I welcome the appointment of a senior level White House liaison to the AAPI community to further strengthen our voice,” Hirono tweeted after the announcement. “I had a productive conversation with the White House today to make clear my perspective about the importance of diversity in the President’s cabinet.”
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