President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of state for defense, according to three people familiar with the decision.
Austin And Biden Have Worked TogetherIn The Past
If confirmed, Austin, 67, a retired four-star retiree and former head of the US Central Command, will be the first African to fill the position. He was also the first Black American to lead the Central Command, commanding American troops in the Middle East and parts of Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia.
Austin was offered the job on Sunday. He was a former runner last week, but his relationship with Biden goes back years. The two spent hours working together while Austin worked for CENTCOM.
The Biden team sees Austin as a person with deep knowledge and experience in the Department of Defense and believes he will be able to hit the job once it is confirmed, according to a source familiar with the decision process.
If confirmed by the Senate, Austin will need to be ousted by the Congress to become defense secretary because he retired less than seven years ago. He would be one of only two nominees ever granted such amnesty, George C. Marshall and James Mattis, who work under President Donald Trump.
Most Diverse Cabinet In History
Asked if they thought Austin would be released, the source said the Biden team was confident he would be considered a nominee for the job.
As Biden continues to fill his Cabinet, he is under pressure to appoint black Americans to senior positions. Biden has promised that his Cabinet will be very different and diverse in history.
Rep. Karen Bass, D-California, told CNN in an interview on Sunday that Biden needed to elect Black Americans to senior cabinet positions, such as defense or attorney general, seeing Austin as one of the top dissidents supported by the Congress Black Black Caucus, where he resides.
Who Are The Other Cabinet Members?
Biden has nominated Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, and will be the nation’s first black vice president, in addition to being the first woman and Asian American to hold the post.
To date, Biden has made a number of decisions on cabinet secretaries, including Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Spanish, Home Affairs Department, Alejandro Mayorkas, whose parents travel from Cuba to the US, and his appointment of Finance Secretary Janet Yellen , who will be the first woman to manage this project. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a Black woman, will serve as Biden’s ambassador to the United Nations, a position often held in the Cabinet under the presidency of the Democratic Republic of the United States.
Biden is under pressure, however, to elect people who will not only be “accepted by all sections of the Democratic Party,” as he said recently but also set the stage for the Senate confirmation that will be in the hands of the GOP if Democrats do not win both runoffs next month.
The decision is expected to be announced in a statement on Tuesday, followed by a public event on Wednesday. Biden’s reform office said on Monday that the president-elect would summon his Pentagon chief and other members of his local and economic cabinet later this week.