Two Democratic senators have announced that they will vote against any remaining nominees for Joe Biden’s cabinet who are White, as reported by The Hill.
Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) each told reporters on separate occasions that they are frustrated by the apparent lack of Asian nominees for Biden’s cabinet. Duckworth said on Tuesday that she would vote against any “non-diversity” nominees for future executive or judicial appointments.
“I am a ‘no’ vote on the floor on all non-diversity nominees,” Duckworth said. “I will vote for racial minorities and LGBTQ buy anybody else, I’m not voting for,” thus essentially indicating that she would refuse to vote for any nominees who are White. She demanded a commitment from the Biden Administration to nominate more Asian Americans for the remaining cabinet posts; Duckworth herself is Asian.
Hirono, the one other Asian senator, made similar remarks the same day, saying “we would like to have a commitment from the White House that there be more diversity representation in the cabinet and in senior White House positions.” She then declared that “until that happens, I will be joining [Duckworth] in voting on non-diversity nominees.”
Biden released a statement later the same day defending his cabinet nominees, calling his “the most diverse cabinet in history.” Among several black and Hispanic nominees, Biden has already nominated and confirmed at least one Asian, with Katherine Tai becoming the U.S. Trade Representative. Tai’s confirmation was the most bipartisan of all the nominees thus far, with 98 senators voting in favor; the remaining two senators were absent for the vote, with one of them being Hirono.