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Michelle Lujan Grisham arriving on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Hispanic lawmakers are openly lobbying to have New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham be named Health and Human Services secretary, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: These members are now following the example some Black lawmakers have used for weeks: trying to convince Joe Biden his political interests will be served by rewarding certain demographic groups with Cabinet picks.

The big picture: Biden is weighing Lujan Grisham, who he considered as his vice presidential running mate, along with Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo for the critical post.

  • The next HHS secretary will not only have to tackle the coronavirus crisis but reconfigure the Affordable Care Act, which the Trump administration has attempted to dismantle.

The case: In their letter to Biden, 32 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus say nominating Alejandro Mayorkas to lead the Department of Homeland Security was a "good start" — but they believe the country deserves more.

  • "Latinos constitute 18 percent of the U.S. population and the diversity of the Latino population in itself is incredibly varied, with Mexican-Americans making up 62.3 percent of the total Latino population," the letter says.   
  • "We write to restate our strong support for the first Democratic Hispanic woman elected state governor in U.S. history."
  • Lujan Grisham was a chairperson of the caucus while serving in the House from 2013 to 2019. While the letter is not a CHC document, the signers are members of the group.

Between the lines: Mayorkas is of Cuban extraction, and most of the letter signers, as well as Lujan Grisham, are of Mexican American descent. Cuban communities supported Trump, especially in south Florida, while other Hispanic demographics helped Biden win crucial states, including Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden finalizes full slate of Cabinet secretaries

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden has officially finalized his picks for Cabinet secretaries, naming 10 men and 5 women to lead federal agencies in an administration he has pledged will "look like America."

Driving the news: Biden filled out his Cabinet on Thursday by nominating Judge Merrick Garland to be attorney general, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to lead the Labor Department.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.