- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 7, 2021

President-elect Joseph R. Biden named Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as his pick for Labor secretary and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as his pick for Commerce secretary on Thursday as he filled out additional members of his economic team.

Mr. Biden also named Isabel Guzman as his pick to lead the Small Business Administration. Ms. Guzman is the director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate.

“This team will help us emerge from the most inequitable economic and jobs crisis in modern history by building an economy where every American is in on the deal,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Walsh, a former union leader, beat out other potential picks like Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Julie Su, secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

Passing over Ms. Su didn’t sit well with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, which had been lobbying Mr. Biden to name an Asian American and Pacific Islander to his Cabinet.



“The glaring omission of an AAPI Cabinet Secretary in the self-declared ‘most diverse Cabinet in history’ is not lost on us and sends a demoralizing message to our nation’s fastest growing racial group and voting bloc that AAPIs do not need to be counted the same as other key constituency groups,” said Rep. Judy Chu of California, who chairs the caucus.

Ms. Raimondo had been talked about as a potential pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services under Mr. Biden before taking herself out of the running for that post.

Ms. Guzman had previously been a top official at the SBA in the Obama administration.

Mr. Biden also named Don Graves, an economic adviser to Mr. Biden when he was vice president, as his pick for deputy secretary of commerce.

Mr. Biden has now announced candidates for essentially all of the major Cabinet and Cabinet-level posts except for CIA Director.

Mr. Biden formally introduced Judge Merrick Garland as his pick for attorney general on Thursday.

The Senate Armed Services Committee announced Thursday that the panel will hold a confirmation hearing on Jan. 19 for retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, Mr. Biden’s pick to lead the Pentagon.

With Democrats soon to take effective control of the U.S. Senate, Mr. Biden won’t necessarily need to win over Senate Republicans for his nominees as long as his party hangs together.

Mr. Biden, who named three House Democrats to White House or Cabinet positions, has said the tight margins in the House and Senate are factoring into his personnel choices.

With Senate Democrats’ new majority, Mr. Sanders is now in line to chair the Senate budget committee.

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