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A Democrat U.S. Senator said on Tuesday that she would no longer vote for any nominees from the Biden White House other than “diversity nominees” until the administration “figures this out.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois confronted the White House deputy chief of staff along with Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono about the lack of Asian Americans in Biden’s cabinet.

“There’s not a single [Asian American or Pacific Islander] in a cabinet position,” she said. “That’s not acceptable. That’s what I told the White House.”

Duckworth was asked what she meant by “diversity” nominees.

“Right now, I’m looking at racial, and obviously, I will take a look at the sexual diversity,” she said. “But right now, I’m focused on the fact that there’s not enough AAPI representation.”

Later on Tuesday, a deal was announced between the White House and Duckworth. The White House will add a senior liaison to the community. In exchange, Duckworth will support Biden’s nominees.

“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, including appointing an AAPI senior White House official to represent the community, secure the confirmation of AAPI appointments and advance policy proposals that are relevant and important to the community,” Ben Gash Garmisa, a Duckworth spokesman, said in a statement. “Accordingly, she will not stand in the way of President Biden’s qualified nominees—which will include more AAPI leaders.”

Author: Jacob Hall