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Rep. Steven Horsford campaigns for Biden/Harris in October. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Steven Horsford will serve as a liaison between the Congressional Black Caucus and Joe Biden's transition team, pushing the caucus' interests with the incoming administration as head of the CBC's first-100-days task force, two sources familiar tell Axios and his office confirmed.

Why it matters: The Nevada Democrat’s role helps give the CBC more collective power when presenting personnel and policy recommendations to Biden's team. It comes at particularly crucial time when the transition team is starting to make staffing decisions, and several lawmakers are publicly and privately lobbying for African American representation in his Cabinet and throughout the administration.

  • Horsford is expected to gather with CBC members next week in some capacity to start compiling an official list of members they'd like to be considered for Cabinet and administration positions, as well as policies they've led over the last four years that they want to expand with a Biden/Harris administration, Horsford's team said.

Driving the news: Biden announced his first major staffing decision this week, naming longtime Democratic operative and trusted advisor Ron Klain his White House chief of staff.

  • Several CBC members have been privately lobbying for representation in roles outside of Housing and Urban Development, which traditionally has had a person of color leading the department.
  • Rep. Jim Clyburn told "Axios on HBO" he's been pushing Biden's transition team to consider Rep. Marcia Fudge to lead the Department of Agriculture, among others.
  • Rep. Karen Bass, who's the CBC chair and was on the short list for Biden's VP, has also been floated by some on the Hill as a possible contender for Health and Human Services or HUD secretary.

Don't forget: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is also a member of the CBC.

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.

41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Diana Walker, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A small group of Senate Democrats is privately invoking the legacy of late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd in an effort to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support their plans to change the chamber's rules, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Manchin — who holds Byrd's Senate seat — has often referenced his predecessor's strong moral conviction and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution, as justification for some of his tough positions.