Senators Tammy Duckworth and Mazie Hirono have expressed their determination to vote “no” on the confirmation of nominee Colin Kahl for the Pentagon’s top policy chief until President Joe Biden appoints Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) as “nominees to vacant positions.”
Duckworth said that until AAPI nominees are appointed to vacant positions — the Office of Budget and Management (OMB), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), or other various cabinet positions — she will vote “no.”
“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,” Hirono chimed in.
Duckworth also complained that Asian American lawmakers were told the Office of the United States Trade Representative and White House budget director would be Asian American. “But after Neera Tanden’s nomination collapsed, she said it appears the White House is going in a different direction.”
Tanden, of Indian descent, withdrew her nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget, saying, “it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation.”