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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Bill Clark (CQ Roll Call), Saul Loeb (AFP), Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After Joe Biden whiffed with Hispanic voters in some states, Democrats are urging the president-elect to nominate several Latinos to high-profile Cabinet positions.

Among those in contention: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for Homeland Security, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for Health and Human Services, and Rep. Filemon Vela for Commerce or Transportation.

  • Becerra and Lujan Grisham have quietly conveyed their interest to Biden’s team.

Where it stands: Biden plans to roll out his senior White House staff first, potentially starting this week, and then announce some of his Cabinet later this month or next. Hispanic appointments could help win back a demographic needed to maintain House control in the 2022 midterms.

  • Biden wants the Cabinet to "look like America," and some of his confidants are predicting it will be more than half female. They believe the big four positions — Justice, State, Defense and Treasury — could all go to women.
  • While Biden's West Wing will have older white males who are longtime advisers — Ron Klain, Steve Ricchetti and Mike Donilon — expect diversity around the Oval Office, too.

Biden came to rely on Rep. Cedric Richmond, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, for his political antenna. He's leaning toward bringing Richmond inside the White House as a senior adviser, instead of the Cabinet.

Flashback: The CBC has signaled to Biden that African Americans are expecting "nontraditional" Cabinet posts, with some targeting Treasury secretary.

  • They are gathering lists of names and funneling them to the transition through Richmond and Rep. Jim Clyburn, whose endorsement sealed Biden’s primary victory in South Carolina.
  • Among their top candidates is Rep. Marcia Fudge from Ohio for Agriculture secretary.

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Women take press lead in Biden era

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Women will overwhelmingly guide coverage of the White House and politics during the Biden administration, propelled by a slew of newly appointed leaders at major TV and radio networks, newspapers and digital outlets.

Why it matters: While female representation in the Washington press corps has steadily grown, what's changed most recently is the number of women in front of and behind cameras and bylines.

Home confinees face imminent return to prison

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Thousands of prisoners who've been in home confinement for as long as a year because of the pandemic face returning to prison when it's over — unless President Biden rescinds a last-minute Trump Justice Department memo.

Why it matters: Most prisoners were told they would not have to come back as they were released early with ankle bracelets. Now, their lives are on hold while they wait to see whether or when they may be forced back behind bars. Advocates say about 4,500 people are affected.

The "essential" committee that still doesn't exist

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Nearly five months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the creation of the bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, it's not been formed much less met.

Why it matters: Select committees are designed to address urgent matters, but the 117th Congress is now nearly one-quarter complete without this panel assembling. When she announced this committee, Pelosi described it as an "essential force" to "combat the crisis of income and wealth disparity in America."