DEMOCRATIC Senator Tammy Duckworth said she would vote not vote for any more of President Biden's straight white nominees until he begins nominating more people of Asian descent.
"I am a 'no' vote, on the floor, on all non-diversity nominees," Duckworth told reporters on Tuesday. "I will vote for racial minorities and LGBTQ but anybody else, I'm not voting for."
The Illinois senator is expressed outrage over the Biden administration's lack of Asian American and Pacific Islander representation in his Cabinet and pointed to its larger lack of diversity.
She is also one of two Asian members of the Senate. Both she and Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii have said they want to see more representation in higher office.
Duckworth said the administration could "make a commitment for a future Cabinet secretary, an actual Cabinet secretary," according to The Hill.
Although most of his Cabinet picks have already been made and confirmed, Duckworth's and Hirono's opposition could cause a potential obstacle for Biden should he plan any more executive or judicial branch nominations through the 50-50 tied Senate.
Duckworth also pointed to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which has yet to have a nominee after the White House pulled Neera Tanden's nomination.
She also pointed to the top roles at the Federal Communications Commission as open positions that could have more diverse nominees.
Hirono joined Duckworth's calls on Tuesday, saying it need not be specifically targeted towards AAPI nominees, but diverse nominees in general.
"We would like to have a commitment from the White House that there be more diversity representation in the Cabinet and in senior White House positions and until that happens I will be joining her in voting on non-diversity nominees," said Hirono of Duckworth's "reasonable position."
"This is not about pitting one diversity group against another. So I'm happy to vote for a Hispanic, a Black person, an LGBTQ person, an AAPI person. I'd just like to see more diversity representation," Hirono added.
Given that their opposition would likely mean any nominee Biden attempts to push through would not receive support from the evenly divided Senate, Hirono doubled down on her shared stance with Duckworth.
"Every vote counts," the Hawaiian senator said. "We've very serious about this because Joe Biden made a commitment to have as diverse a Cabinet and as diverse a White House. He made that commitment and that is what we're calling for."
Biden on Tuesday called his picks "the most diverse Cabinet in history."
"We have a lot of Asian Americans that are in the Cabinet and in sub-Cabinet levels," he ended.
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