President-elect Joe Biden could name two of his most important Cabinet picks in the next few days, according to reports — aiming to solidify a transition that the current administration has not yet acknowledged.
According to Newyork Post, Biden’s choices for Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury may be revealed before Thanksgiving, sources told the Associated press Saturday
Front-runners for the role of the nation’s top diplomat include Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a longtime Biden confidant, and Antony Blinken, a foreign affairs adviser to Biden’s campaign who served in both the State Department and the National Security Agency under Presidents Obama and Clinton.
Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is thought to top the list of potential Treasury Secretary candidates — despite mounting pressure from progressives who want an outspoken liberal, like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in the slot.
Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard is also said to be on Biden’s shortlist , along with Raphael Bostic, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and Fed vice chair Roger Ferguson.
Meanwhile, Judge Merrick Garland, the federal district judge who was nominated to the Supreme Court by Barack Obama in 2016 – but never got a vote in the Republican-held Senate – is under consideration to become Biden’s Attorney General, NPR reported Friday.
Biden this week announced more than a dozen aides for his White House staff — almost all of them insiders from his 47-year career in Washington.
So far, Senate Republicans have signaled little desire to stand in the way of confirmation for Biden’s nominees.
“All presidents have a right to their Cabinet,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told Politico Friday. The centrist Murkowski, along with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, are seen as the three Republicans most likely to vote with Democrats on the new administration’s picks.
“Our job, our role is to make sure that [Biden] selects folks that are … within the mainstream,” she said. “And if he does that, sure, I am going to work with him.”
Many of Trump’s Senate allies are saying the same – even though most remain publicly supportive of the president’s efforts to contest the election results.
“If [Biden] does win, then he will have the right, I think, to a Cabinet,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said. “I’m just not going to vote for a socialist.”
House Republicans – particularly some of the Trump-style populists coming into Congress in January – are kicking up the loudest fuss about Biden’s potential picks, even though they have no role in the confirmation process.
“Hearing the rumors of Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees are chilling,” Colorado Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert, a gun-rights activist from the aptly named town of Rifle, tweeted Saturday . “He’ll roll the red carpet out for the Deep State that we worked to oust for the past four years.”
And on the opposite side of the political spectrum, it could be Democrats who give Biden the worst headaches over his Cabinet choices.
“Progressive views need to be expressed within a Biden administration,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders warned this week. “It would be, for example, enormously insulting if Biden put together a ‘team of rivals’ … which might include Republicans and conservative Democrats.”