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Politics Biden builds out Cabinet with choices for Commerce and Labor secretaries

02:25  08 january  2021
02:25  08 january  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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That will limit Biden ’s choices and makes it less likely some left-wing choices would be confirmed. Chair of the Democratic National Committee; former secretary of Labor ; former assistant attorney Also watch out for Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who has long been active on transit policy and is

President-elect Joe Biden has begun to build out his administration as he prepares to take office in January, naming a team of people to help him tackle an POLITICO is maintaining a rolling list of the people Biden has chosen for Cabinet posts and those in the mix for positions that have yet to be filled

President-elect Joe Biden has picked Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to head the Labor Department, according to the Associated Press.

Raimondo, the first woman to become governor of her state, had been considered as a running mate for Biden before his selection of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Raimondo has touted economic growth the state enjoyed before the pandemic. But her potential appointment had been opposed by progressive advocates who were critical of her policies, including her overhaul of the state pension system.

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(CNN) President-elect Joe Biden is building out his Cabinet as he prepares for his time in the White House. The Cabinet includes the vice president and the heads of 15 executive departments: Agriculture, Commerce , Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland

President-elect Joe Biden has yet to announce several key roles in his incoming administration, including attorney general, labor secretary and commerce secretary . Doug Jones of Alabama and Judge Merrick Garland are seen as the two most likely choices for attorney general.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Walsh is a former top union leader. But his selection signals a choice against the diversity in the rest of the Cabinet. Walsh is white, but others considered for the slot included California Labor Secretary Julie Su, an Asian woman, and AFL-CIO chief economist Bill Spriggs, a Black man.

When Biden announces these choices, he will have named his choices to lead all of the federal departments. But his Cabinet still awaits choices such as who will lead the CIA.

The Commerce Department handles a variety of functions. One of the most prominent now is the census, which happens every 10 years to reapportion House seats in Congress by population, and carries implications for how federal money is distributed. The 2020 census has been mired in controversy for years because of disputes about who should be counted. The Trump administration sought to not count undocumented immigrants, but Democrats said the Constitution calls for everyone to be counted.

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Andy Levin (D-MI), former Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris, California Labor Secretary Julie Su and American Federation of Labor and Biden has selected two Asian American women for his Cabinet US lawmakers have repeatedly called on Biden to build an inclusive government, with the

The department, as its name implies, also helps negotiate trade agreements. And the department includes functions such as the National Weather Service and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, which deals with fisheries.

When Raimondo campaigned for reelection in 2018, she faced union opposition and a progressive challenger, who was supported by groups aligned with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. The advocacy group Demand Progress opposed Raimondo's appointment to any Cabinet post, citing problems with state health insurance programs.

Raimondo became the first woman governor of Rhode Island in 2015. During her administration, the state invested in infrastructure, education and job training. The state became the fourth in the country to offer tuition-free community college to every high school graduate, a national goal for Biden as president.

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As he builds his cabinet , Mr. Biden will take into account racial diversity and gender equity, aides said. He is also conscious of the need to put his own stamp on his cabinet and is expected to try to avoid the perception that he is building a carbon copy of the Obama administration, they said.

Strong unions built the American middle class. That's why Joe Biden has an extensive plan for Check the abuse of corporate power over labor and hold corporate executives personally As president, Biden will create a cabinet -level working group that includes representatives from labor .

Raimondo, a former venture-capital executive who co-founded Point Judith Capital, won statewide election as general treasurer in 2010. She overhauled the state pension system, which had a $7 billion unfunded liability. Provisions included eliminating cost-of-living increases, raising the retirement age and moving workers into different retirement accounts, which sparked union opposition.

Raimondo, whose grandfather immigrated from Italy, grew up in Smithfield. She graduated with honors in economics from Harvard University, won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where she earned a doctorate, and graduated from Yale Law School.

Marty Walsh wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd: Jul 25, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston mayor Marty Walsh walks to the stage before speaking during the 2016 Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY NETWORK © Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston mayor Marty Walsh walks to the stage before speaking during the 2016 Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Labor Department regulates workplace safety through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, industries such as the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and contributes to leadership of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. The department tracks information such as the unemployment rate and wage rates.

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Gina Raimondo et al. sitting at a table: Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, center, speaks Aug. 2, 2018, with Lisa McGovern, left, and Betty Toye at the Pilgrim Senior Center in Warwick, R.I. © Michelle R. Smith, AP Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, center, speaks Aug. 2, 2018, with Lisa McGovern, left, and Betty Toye at the Pilgrim Senior Center in Warwick, R.I.

One of Biden's priorities in combating the COVID-19 pandemic is to have OSHA develop regulations for workers to return safely to their jobs. Walsh, a Boston native and lifelong resident, was swiftly embraced by labor unions as one of their own.

American Trucking Associations CEO Chris Spear commended Walsh for “a deep understanding of labor issues” and his experience working with building trades as mayor.

“The professional drivers, mechanics, dock workers, dispatchers – the millions of individuals who make up the workforce of our industry - are the critical resource that powers trucking and our economy,” Spear said.

Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, also praised Walsh as a journeyman member of the Laborers’ International Union of North America and former president of the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council.

“Mayor Walsh will bring to the job the deep understanding of what solidarity truly means, and the critical importance of collective bargaining," Rinaldi said. "Our nation is hurting badly as this COVID-19 pandemic rages. To recover and rebuild, it will take the collective efforts of working men and women nationwide."

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As a recovering alcoholic, Walsh has led a lifetime commitment to preventing and treating alcoholism. He earned a degree in political science from Boston College.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden builds out Cabinet with choices for Commerce and Labor secretaries

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