Apr 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Hispanic Caucus pushes Biden to appoint defeated House members

President Biden speaks during a meeting with the leadership of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

President Joe Biden (4th L) speaks during a meeting with the leadership of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, (L-R) Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Vice President Kamala Harris, Chair Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), in the Oval Office of the White House April 20. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus urged President Biden on Tuesday to appoint two defeated members of the House to positions in his administration, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The president has promised an administration reflecting the country's diversity, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus have each offered their candidates.

Details: During a meeting in the Oval Office, CHC members suggested former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) for undersecretary of public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department.

  • CHC members also pushed former Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) for undersecretary of rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a job for which she is already said to be a candidate.
  • Mucarsel-Powell and Torres Small each lost their bids to win a second term during the 2020 election.

Of note: Earlier this month, Biden named Erika Moritsugu deputy assistant to the president and Asian American and Pacific Islander senior liaison.

  • He did so after Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) threatened to oppose his "non-diversity" nominees to the administration.
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