December 22, 2020: Joe Biden is expected to select Connecticut education commissioner Miguel Cardona for secretary of education.
Prior to taking office on January 20, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden (D) and his team must prepare for the transition between presidential administrations, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.
In 2016, there were 1,714 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,242 positions required Senate confirmation and 472 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden presidential transition.
- The Washington Post reported that Biden was expected to nominate Miguel Cardona, the commissioner of education in Connecticut, for secretary of education. Cardona accepted Biden’s offer, according to Axios on Tuesday morning. Former Howard University Dean Leslie Fenwick was also a finalist for the position.
- To manage the narrow Democratic majority in the U.S. House, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on Friday that Biden would likely appoint Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) to his administration as a senior advisor before nominating other sitting members of Congress for Cabinet positions. This appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, would trigger a March special election in Louisiana. Clyburn said Biden would delay the nominations of Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) for interior secretary and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) for housing and urban development secretary until after this special election.
- The Food & Water Watch, which The New York Times described as a consumer and environmental watchdog group, and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) oppose Tom Vilsack’s nomination for secretary of agriculture. “I think he’ll fold under pressure from the ag lobby, the subsidy lobby and big agriculture,” said EWG President Ken Cook. The National Farmers Union and Feeding America have both backed Vilsack’s nomination.
Transition in Context
What We’re Reading
- Fox News: Republicans slam Big Tech additions to Biden team, say Silicon Valley works ‘hand in glove’ with Democrats
- The New York Times: Pandemic Aid Bolsters Biden and Shows Potential Path for His Agenda in Congress
- Politico: ‘Why bother?’: Biden, Trump advisers see little value in White House meeting