'Latinas are pissed': New letter from lawmakers calls on Joe Biden to add Hispanic women to his Cabinet picks as top slots fill up

  • Latina members of Congress sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday asking him to nominate at least two Latinas to his Cabinet.
  • Biden has nominated two high-profile Latinos for top Cabinet jobs — Alejandro Mayorkas and Xavier Becerra — but no Latina women so far.
  • "Latinas are pissed," a former House Democratic aide and Congressional Hispanic Caucus staffer told Insider in an interview.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Latinas are feeling left out of President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet so far as top slots fill up.

Biden has promised the most diverse Cabinet in history as he prepares to take office next month, and he's coming under pressure from all sides to deliver. He has nominated two high-profile Latinos for top Cabinet jobs — former Obama administration official Alejandro Mayorkas and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — but prominent lawmakers and others say it's important to have Latina representation as well. 

"Latinas are pissed," a former House Democratic aide and Congressional Hispanic Caucus staffer told Insider in an interview. 

As Biden continues building up his dream team, 11 women members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote to Biden on Monday asking him to nominate at least two Latinas for Cabinet positions. 

"By ensuring that the voices and perspectives of all communities are represented in your Cabinet, we can ensure the most helpful policies can be implemented quickly to help our nation recover during this difficult time," says the letter obtained by Insider. "Latina appointees will help bring needed insight and perspective to help deliver the results that working families need."

The letter was signed by Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán of California, Veronica Escobar of Texas, Sylvia García of Texas, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Florida, Grace Napolitano of Florida, Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, Linda Sánchez of California, Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico, Lori Trahan of Massachusetts, Nydia M. Velázquez of New York, and Teresa Leger Fernández of New Mexico. 

Hispanic voters turned out in large numbers during the 2020 election and helped Biden oust President Donald Trump.

Jamal Brown, a spokesperson for the Biden transition, told Insider in a statement that Biden is "working to build an administration that looks like America, starting with the first woman of South Asian descent and first Black woman to be Vice President-elect, as well as a slate of diverse nominees and appointees, to-date." He added, "Our team is engaging leaders and organizations to ensure they have a seat at the table in helping to develop and implement the President-elect's vision, and we will continue over the coming weeks as we work to shape the Biden-Harris administration."

Several Latinas have been reportedly under consideration for Biden Cabinet posts, including New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. She turned down an offer from Biden's team to serve as Interior secretary, the Hill reported. 

Rep. Raúl Grijalva, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told Insider Friday that he wants to see Latinas in Biden's Cabinet in addition to the Latino nominees. 

"Diversity in the pure sense of the word applies to gender as well," Grijalva said of Biden's diversity pledge. "It would be good" to get Latinas in the Cabinet as well. 

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