Two Democratic Asian American senators have agreed to drop their threat to vote no on any non-diverse Biden administrative nominees, CNN reports. The White House has allegedly promised to hire an AAPI diversity liaison.
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Senator Tammy Duckworth threatened to block non-diverse nominees after Duckworth a tense exchange with a top Biden aide on Monday. Hirono, Duckworth and several other AAPI lawmakers have recently expressed their frustration with the lack of AAPI representation amongst Biden’s appointees.
After speaking privately with the President on Tuesday, both senators agree to continue voting to confirm Biden’s nominees, according to The New York Daily News. During the meeting, the Biden administration agreed to appoint a senior-level AAPI liaison to address community needs.
“The President has made it clear that his Administration will reflect the diversity of the country,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement, according to CNN. “That has always been, and remains our goal. The White House will add a senior level Asian American Pacific Islander liaison, who will ensure the community’s voice is further represented and heard.”
Senator Hirono voiced her approval of the appointment on Twitter.
Sen. Duckworth expressed similar sentiments through a statement released by her spokesperson on Tuesday.
“Senator Duckworth appreciates the Biden Administration’s assurances that it will do much more to elevate AAPI voices and perspectives at the highest levels of government,” the senator’s communications director Ben Garmisa said, according to New York Daily News.
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