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Biden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members

Biden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members
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President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Fauci infuriated by threats to family MORE indicated he may be reluctant to pluck lawmakers from the House or the Senate to fill top administration roles, saying he needs leaders in Congress to help move his “progressive” agenda.

Biden said “nothing is off the table” as far as personnel is concerned, but he hinted in a Congress with a narrow Democratic majority in the House and a contested hold of the Senate, he may decide to keep allies on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

“Taking someone out of the Senate, taking someone out of the House, particularly a person of consequence, is really a difficult decision that will have to be made,” he said in an exclusive interview on NBC News, the first such interview he’s given since winning the White House. “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.” 

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The remarks come as the president-elect begins to build his administration, including staffing his Cabinet. He has already unveiled nominees for several national security posts, including secretary of State, ambassador to the United Nations, national security adviser and more. None of the nominees thus far are members of Congress.

Among those who have been floated as potential cabinet contenders are Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Next steps in the Trump impeachment Sanders selling sweatshirts with his famous inauguration pose for charity Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' MORE (I-Vt.), who is angling to lead the Labor Department, and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee MORE (D-Mass.). Warren was considered a possible nominee to helm the Treasury Department, but Biden is expected to tap former Federal Reserve Chair Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenOn The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes Trump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 Overnight Defense: Austin takes helm at Pentagon | COVID-19 briefing part of Day 1 agenda | Outrage over images of National Guard troops in parking garage MORE for that post. 

Nominating either Sanders or Warren would open up a vacancy in a Senate that will be controlled by either Democrats or Republicans by a narrow margin. The GOP currently holds a 50-48 majority in the next Senate, and two runoffs in Georgia will determine control of the chamber.

Both Sanders and Warren come from states with Republican governors who could fill their seats with Republicans, further hindering Democratic efforts in the upper chamber.

The same issue would exist in the House, where Democrats are expected to have one of the narrowest majorities in modern history.

Biden has already picked Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondAn attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation Pelosi to seat Iowa Republican as Democratic challenger contests election results Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow dies of COVID-19 MORE (D-La.) to serve as a senior White House adviser, though Richmond’s seat is in a safe blue district. The Louisiana Democrat served as a co-chair for Biden’s campaign and is known to be close to the president-elect. He’s also tapped California Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSenators introduce bill to award Officer Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal An ally in the White House is good for abortion access, but not enough LeBron James says 'it would be great' for champion Lakers to visit Biden White House MORE to be his vice president, though her seat will also be filled by a Democrat by California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomHarris receives standing ovation in first Senate appearance as VP Feehery: To move past Trump, Republicans have to think local The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other MORE (D) and is expected to remain in Democratic hands.