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Biden Administration Takes Shape

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President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, to announce key nominees for the Justice Department.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated post on President-elect Joe Biden building his administration. Biden will be sworn in as the nation’s 46th president in January 2021.

Biden Picks Boston Mayor Marty Walsh As Labor Secretary

Jan. 7, 2:09 p.m. — President-elect Joe Biden has selected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as his labor secretary, choosing a former union worker who shares his Irish American background and working-class roots. The 53-year-old Walsh has served as the Democratic mayor of Boston since 2014. His selection for Biden’s Cabinet was confirmed by two people familiar with the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid preempting Biden’s official announcement. When he took the oath of office for his second term as Boston’s chief executive in 2018, Biden presided over the inauguration. Walsh is a former union worker who has a long history with labor. His nomination was praised by union leaders Thursday. – Associated Press

FILE – In this March 13, 2020 file photo, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh talks about the postponement of the Boston Marathon during a news conference, in Boston. President-elect Joe Biden has selected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as his labor secretary, choosing a former union worker who shares his Irish American background and working-class roots. The 53-year-old Walsh has served as the Democratic mayor of Boston since 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) AP

Biden Picks Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo As Commerce Secretary

Jan. 7, 1:43 p.m. — President-elect Joe Biden has picked Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department, helping set trade policy and looking to promote U.S. opportunities for growth domestically and overseas.Raimondo, a former venture capitalist, is in her second term as governor and previously served as state treasurer. Her name had been floated for Biden’s health secretary, though she said last month she would be staying in Rhode Island and continuing to focus on the coronavirus pandemic. – Associated Press

FILE – In this March 1, 2020 file photo, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo faces reporters during a news conference, in Providence, R.I. President-elect Joe Biden has picked Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) AP

 

Biden To Name Judge Merrick Garland As Attorney General

Jan. 6, 9:00 p.m. — President-elect Joe Biden has selected a federal appeals court judge, Merrick Garland, as his attorney general. That’s according to two people familiar with the selection process. Garland was snubbed by Republicans in 2016 for a seat on the Supreme Court. Biden is expected to announce Garland’s appointment on Thursday, along with other senior leaders of the department. Also expected to be part of the department are former homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general, and former Justice Department civil rights chief Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general. – Associated Press

FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2017, file photo, Merrick Garland walks into Federal District Court in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden is set to name Garland as Attorney General. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) AP

Biden Picks Connecticut Schools Chief As Education Secretary

Miguel Cardona CT State Dept. of Education

Dec. 22, 8:01 p.m. – President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Miguel Cardona, Connecticut’s education chief and a lifelong champion of public schools, to serve as education secretary. The selection delivers on Biden’s promise to nominate someone with experience working in public education and would fulfill his goal of installing an education chief who stands in sharp contrast to Secretary Betsy DeVos. In the announcement of his nomination, Biden said that Cardona would offer America “an experienced and dedicated public school teacher leading the way at the Department of Education.” Biden’s decision drew praise from public school advocates and the nation’s major teachers unions. – Associated Press

Biden Picks Regan for EPA Nominee, Haaland For Interior Head

Dec. 17, 7:35 p.m. – President-elect Joe Biden says he has chosen North Carolina regulator Michael S. Regan as his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as interior secretary. Biden said Thursday that the selections round out what he said would be an experienced climate team ready from their first day in office to tackle the “undeniable, accelerating, punishing reality of climate change.” The picks also help Biden fulfill his promise to put together a Cabinet that reflects the diversity of America. Regan is Black, while Haaland would be the first Native American Cabinet member in U.S. history. – Associated Press

FILE – In this March 5, 2020, file photo Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., Native American Caucus co-chair, speaks to reporters about the 2020 Census on Capitol Hill in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Haaland as interior secretary. The historic pick would make her the first Native American to lead the powerful federal agency that has wielded influence over the nation’s tribes for generations. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) AP

Biden Taps Buttigieg For Transportation, Granholm For Energy

FILE – In this April 29, 2019 file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg, from South Bend, Indiana, listens during a lunch meeting with civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem neighborhood of New York. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to pick former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg to head the transportation department. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, Pool) AP
FILE – In this July 28, 2016, file photo, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Biden is expected to pick his former rival Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation and Granholm as energy secretary. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) AP

Biden Taps Rice As Domestic Policy Adviser, McDonough For VA

Dec. 10, 10:13 a.m.  — President-elect Joe Biden is naming Susan Rice as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. The role will give her broad sway over his administration’s approach to immigration, health care and racial inequality and elevates the prominence of the position in the West Wing. He is also nominating former President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff Denis McDonough as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The sprawling agency has presented organizational challenges for both parties over the years. In tapping Rice and McDonough for the roles, Biden is continuing to stockpile his administration with prominent alumni of the Obama administration. – Associated Press

AP Sources: Biden To Pick Katherine Tai As Top Trade Envoy

Dec. 9, 6:27 p.m.  — President-elect Joe Biden is set to nominate Katherine Tai to be the top U.S. trade envoy. That’s according to two people familiar with his plans who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss them publicly. The role is a Cabinet position, and the Senate will vote on whether to confirm Tai for the position. Biden’s selection of Tai, who is Asian American, reflects his promise to choose a diverse Cabinet that reflects the makeup of the country. Tai is chief trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee and will be tapped as the U.S. Trade Representative. – Associated Press

AP Sources: Biden Picks Fudge For Housing, Vilsack for USDA

Dec. 8, 8:40 p.m. –  — President-elect Joe Biden has selected Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge as his housing and urban development secretary and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to reprise that role in his administration. That’s according to four people familiar with one or both of the decisions who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity to avoid preempting the president-elect’s announcement. Fudge, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, was just elected to a seventh term representing a majority Black district that includes parts of Cleveland and Akron. Vilsack spent eight years as head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Obama administration and served two terms as Iowa governor. – Associated Press

In this image from video, Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. Two Democratic women are contenders to be President-elect Joe Biden’s secretary of agriculture. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio and former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are in the running for the Cabinet position. (House Television via AP) AP
FILE – In this Jan. 31, 2020 file photo, former ecretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speaks at a campaign stop for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at the LOFT on Jefferson, in Burlington, Iowa. President-elect Joe Biden has selected Vilsack to reprise that role in his administration. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) AP

AP Sources: Biden Picks Lloyd Austin As Secretary of Defense

Dec. 7, 8:24 p.m.  — President-elect Joe Biden will nominate retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin to be secretary of defense. That’s according to four people familiar with the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity because the selection hadn’t been formally announced. If confirmed by the Senate, Austin would be the first Black Pentagon chief. Austin retired from the Army in 2016, which means he would require a congressional waiver to take the job. One of the people who confirmed the pick said Austin’s selection was about choosing the best possible person but acknowledged that pressure had built to name a candidate of color and that Austin’s stock had risen in recent days. – Associated Press

FILE – In this Sept. 16, 2015, photo, U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin III, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Biden will nominate retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin to be secretary of defense. That’s according to three people familiar with the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity because the selection hadn’t been formally announced. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) AP

Biden Picks Calif. AG Becerra To Lead HHS, Pandemic Response

FILE – In this Dec. 4, 2019, file photo, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. President-elect Joe Biden has picked Becerra to be his health secretary, putting a defender of the Affordable Care Act in a leading role to oversee his administration’s coronavirus response. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) AP

Biden’s pick to head OMB brings experience, Twitter enemies

Dec. 6, 3:14 p.m. — Neera Tanden, currently president of the Democratic-aligned think tank Center for American Progress, has spent years fighting online against both Republican legislators and leftist critics of her longtime boss Hillary Clinton. Now as president-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to head the powerful Office of Management and Budget, Tanden will be running a confirmation gantlet that includes many of the same senators she had previously antagonized. So far, most of Biden’s senior staffing hires and Cabinet nominees have been reliable and hardly controversial. But Tanden’s nomination drew an immediate and visceral reaction from many Republicans and some Democrats. – Associated Press

VP-elect Harris Picks Tina Flournoy To Be Her Chief of Staff

Dec. 3, 11:03 a.m. — Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has named veteran Democratic strategist Tina Flournoy as her chief of staff. Flournoy’s appointment as Harris’ top staffer adds to a team of advisers led by Black women. Flournoy has served as chief of staff for former President Bill Clinton since 2013. That follows a career that took her to top posts at the Democratic National Committee, in the presidential campaigns of former Vice President Al Gore and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and with the American Federation of Teachers. Former colleagues describe Flournoy as a no-nonsense operative who has both policy and political chops. – Associated Press

Biden Brings Forward His Intended National Security Team

Nov. 24, 12:35 p.m. – President-elect Joe Biden says he is “pleased” that his administration has officially been allowed to begin the transition process in filling out a new government. Biden said Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware, that receiving the transitional status known as “ascertainment” would allow his team to “prepare to meet the challenges at hand” in transferring power from the Trump administration to his own. Late Monday, the General Services Administration “ascertained” that Biden is the apparent winner of this month’s presidential election. That process gives the incoming president and his team access to officials at federal agencies and directs the Justice Department to work on security clearances for transition team members and Biden political appointees. Biden spoke as he rolled out his picks to fill top national security slots in his Cabinet including secretary of state, national security adviser and a new, Cabinet-level post dedicated to climate change. He said he hoped his nominees receive a prompt confirmation process.

Biden Makes Historic Pick In Naming National Intelligence Director

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Avril Haines as director of national intelligence in his administration. Center for a New American Security (CNAS)

Nov. 23, 10:55 p.m.  – President-elect Joe Biden has selected Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, to be director of national intelligence, the first woman to hold that post. If confirmed, Haines would be the first woman to be the nation’s top intelligence officer, charged with overseeing more than a dozen U.S. intelligence agencies. Picking Haines is a signal that Biden intends to return the nation’s spy agencies to the hands of experienced intelligence professionals. Trump said he was a fan of the agencies, but often disparaged their work, especially their assessment about Russian interference in the 2016 election. He put the word “intelligence” in quotes on several tweets and pushed out more than a handful of individuals who made careers in intelligence in favor of partisan loyalists. Haines, 51, was the White House deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration. She previously was the deputy director of the CIA and was deputy counsel to the president for national security affairs in the White House counsel’s office. – Associated Press

Biden Adds Obama Administration Veterans To Top Staff

Nov. 23, 8:42 p.m. — President-elect Joe Biden is adding four Obama-Biden administration veterans to his top ranks as he continues to build out his White House team. Cathy Russell, who was Jill Biden’s chief of staff during the Obama administration, will serve as director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Louisa Terrell, who was a legislative adviser to the president during the Obama administration, will direct the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Carlos Elizondo will be Jill Biden’s social secretary, and Mala Adiga will serve as her policy director. The announcements come just a few days after Biden unveiled his first major round of top White House staff. – Associated Press

AP Source: Biden Taps Ex-Fed Chair Yellen To Lead Treasury

Nov. 23, 4:48 p.m. — President-elect Joe Biden has chosen former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to serve as treasury secretary, a pivotal role in which she would help shape and direct his economic policies. Her nomination was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with Biden’s plans who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss them. Yellen, who is widely admired in the financial world, would be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department in a line stretching back to Alexander Hamilton in 1789. The 74-year-old Yellen was also the first woman to serve as Fed chair. She later became an adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign. – Associated Press

FILE – In this Aug. 14, 2019, file photo former Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks with FOX Business Network guest anchor Jon Hilsenrath in the Fox Washington bureau in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) AP

Ex-Homeland Security Official Mayorkas Returns Under Biden

Nov. 23, 4:34 p.m. — President-elect Joe Biden is turning to a veteran of the Department of Homeland Security to lead the agency amid widespread concern that it became overtly politicized under President Donald Trump in carrying out his immigration and law enforcement priorities. Biden is nominating Alejandro Mayorkas, He served as a deputy secretary of homeland security and director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services under President Barack Obama. He worked on efforts to respond to the Ebola and Zika outbreaks and developed a program to shield from deportation people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as minors. – Associated Press

FILE – In this July 25, 2013, file photo Alejandro Mayorkas, President Obama’s nominee to become deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on his nomination. President-elect Joe Biden is filling out his administration with key picks for his national security and foreign policy teams. Mayorkas will be nominated as the secretary for the department of homeland security. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) AP

Biden’s Choice For UN Envoy Signals Return To US Engagement

Nov. 23, 3:20 p.m. — President-elect Joe Biden’s pick of Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations reflects his intent to return to a more traditional role at the world body as well as offer an olive branch to a beleaguered diplomatic corps. If confirmed by the Senate, Thomas-Greenfield would be neither the first African American nor the first woman, nor even the first African American woman, to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. But she’s a groundbreaking choice nonetheless. Thomas-Greenfield joined the State Department more than three decades ago, when Black women were even more of a rarity in the corridors of Foggy Bottom than they are today. – Associated Press

 

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2014, file photo Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, right, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to tap longtime diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) AP

Biden Signals Shift From Trump With National Security Picks

Nov. 23, 12:24 p.m. — President-elect Joe Biden is moving to fill out his national security and foreign policy team. His choices signal that Biden intends to abandon and repudiate the Trump administration’s “America First” doctrine. The six picks announced on Monday represent a shift away from President Donald Trump’s policies and mark a return to a more traditional approach to America’s relations with the rest of the world. Biden will nominate his longtime adviser Antony Blinken to be secretary of state, lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security secretary and Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be ambassador to the United Nations. Former Secretary of State John Kerry will be Biden’s climate change envoy. – Associated Press

Biden Picks John Kerry For Climate Change Role

Nov. 23, 11:30 a.m. – Joe Biden is filling out his administration with key picks for his national security and foreign policy teams. John Kerry will lead the incoming administration’s effort to combat climate change. Alejandro Mayorkas will be nominated as the secretary for the department of homeland security. Biden also plans to nominate Antony Blinken as his secretary of state. Kerry is a former secretary of state, senator from Massachusetts and Democratic presidential nominee. – Associated Press

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2020, file photo former Secretary of State John Kerry smiles while speaking at a campaign stop to support Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at the Biden for President Fort Dodge Office in Fort Dodge, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) AP

Longtime Aides Named To Legislative Affairs Posts

Nov. 23, 10:35 a.m. – President-elect Joe Biden has named two longtime Capitol Hill aides to his legislative affairs team. Reema Dodin and Shuwanza Goff will serve as deputy directors of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Dodin has been working on the transition team already, leading its legislative engagement with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. She also serves as deputy chief of staff and floor director to Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the Democratic whip in the Senate. Goff served as floor director for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. She helped craft the House Democrats’ legislative agenda. Dodin and Goff join Louisa Terrell, who was recently named the director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. About a dozen other senior White House staffers also have been announced by the president-elect. The team will be tasked with turning Biden’s long list of campaign promises into legislative blueprints and ushering them through a closely divided House and Senate. The first and biggest concern is expected to be a major coronavirus aid and response package after Biden takes office in January. – Associated Press

Biden Expected To Nominate Blinken As Secretary Of State

Nov. 22, 10:08 p.m. — A longtime national security aide to President-elect Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, is expected to become Biden’s nominee for secretary of state. Multiple people familiar with the Biden team’s planning tell The Associated Press that Blinken is at the front of his choices to be America’s top diplomat. Blinken served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration. If chosen and confirmed, he would be a leading force in Biden’s bid to reframe the U.S. global relationship after four years in which President Donald Trump questioned longtime alliances. – Associated Press

FILE – In this Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, file photo, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria. Blinken is the leading contender to become President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, according to multiple people familiar with the Biden team’s planning. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File) AP

This post will be updated.

 

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