US President-elect Joe Biden will announce the first of his Cabinet picks on Tuesday, as he moves ahead with planning for his incoming administration.
Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff, said that the president-elect would be beating the pace of appointments set by both the Obama-Biden transition and the Trump transition.
Candidates on Biden’s shortlist include former Fed Chair Janet Yellen, current Fed Governor Lael Brainard, Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed governor, and Raphael Bostic, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Biden has pledged to build the most diverse government in modern history, and he and his team often speak about their desire for his administration to reflect America.
He is being watched to see whether he will make history by nominating the first woman to lead the Pentagon, the Treasury Department or the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the first African American at the top the Defense Department, the Interior Department or the Treasury Department.
Since Biden was declared winner of the Nov. 3 election two weeks ago, President Donald Trump has launched a barrage of lawsuits and mounted a pressure campaign to prevent state officials from certifying their vote totals, suffering another emphatic legal setback on Saturday in Pennsylvania.
Klain reiterated their camp’s call for the Trump administration – specifically a federal agency called the General Services Administration – to formally recognize Biden’s victory to unlock resources for the transition process.
“I hope that the administrator of the GSA will do her job,” Klain said, referring to GSA chief Emily Murphy.
Klain said the Trump administration’s refusal to clear the way for Biden’s team to have access to key information about agencies and federal dollars for the transition is taking its toll on planning, including the Cabinet selection process.
“We’re not in a position to get background checks on Cabinet nominees. And so there are definite impacts. Those impacts escalate every day,” Klain told ABC’s “This Week.”
Looking ahead to the Jan. 20 inauguration, Klain said it is “definitely have to be changed” due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that the Biden team is consulting with Democratic leadership in the House and Senate over their plans.
“They’re going to try to have an inauguration that honors the importance and the symbolic meaning of the moment, but also does not result in the spread of the disease. That’s our goal,” Klain said.