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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

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden to name Antony Blinken as secretary of state

Anthony Blinken, then deputy secretary of state speaks at a 2016 summit 2016 in New York City. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

President-elect Joe Biden will name as secretary of state his longtime adviser Antony Blinken, who has held diplomatic and national security jobs since the Clinton administration, a Biden adviser confirmed to Axios on Sunday.

Our thought bubble: By nominating Blinken, who has worked closely with Biden over the past two decades, Biden may return more authority to and work to rebuild the ranks and morale inside the diplomatic corps after President Trump moved to diminish its reach and centralize decision making inside the White House.

Operation Warp Speed leader: COVID vaccine push is "isolated from a political environment"

Moncef Slaoui in the Rose Garden on Nov. 13. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Moncef Slaoui, the White House's top scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed, told Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the Trump administration's efforts to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine is "isolated from a political environment" and that a change in administration "doesn't, frankly, make a difference" on its efficacy.

Why it matters: Slaoui told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that he has not yet had contact with Joe Biden's transition team, as the president-elect prepares to inherit one of the country's biggest crises ahead of an expected vaccine distribution effort that would require massive logistical cooperation between states and the federal government.

18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats expect Biden to name Linda Thomas-Greenfield UN ambassador

Former assistant secretary of African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, 2014. Photo: Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Democrats close to President-elect Biden expect him to name Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations, looking to a Black woman and respected diplomat to restore morale.

The big picture: The decision would be in line with Biden's pledge to name a diverse Cabinet. It's likely he will pick a woman or a person of color — or both — as his White House press secretary, and Democrats are urging him to nominate several Latinos to high-profile Cabinet positions.