WASHINGTON, DC—The Proyecto 20% Coalition today urged the Senate to swiftly confirm the four Latino cabinet secretary nominees, Alejandro Mayorkas for Homeland Security; Xavier Becerra for Health and Human Services; Dr. Miguel Cardona for the Department of Education and Isabel Guzman for the Small Business Administration. The powerhouse Latino coalition raised concerns about the delay in Alejandro Mayorkas and Xavier Becerra’s confirmation process.
“President Biden has led outstanding efforts to ensure that his administration reflects our nation’s diversity, and we commend him for keeping his promise to Latinos,” said Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Fund President and CEO. “We want the Senate to understand the urgency of confirming these cabinet secretaries because the well-being of millions of Americans, specifically Latinos and immigrants, depends on the policies these agencies execute. There’s a list of life-changing policies that the Biden administration is ready to implement that will improve the lives of millions and help save the lives of millions of Americans. These departments and the SBA need their cabinet secretaries in place to put their strategic plan in motion, and Mayorkas, Becerra, Cardona, and Guzman have been ready since Day One.”
“We’re in the second week of the Biden administration and we have yet to see one of these highly critical cabinet positions confirmed. This is unacceptable,” said UnidosUS President and
CEO Janet Murguía. “HHS, DHS, Education and SBA are all vital agencies in the fight against COVID, and particularly essential to the Latino community which has suffered disproportionately from the pandemic in terms of health, education and the economy, it’s crucial that these qualified candidates receive a speedy vote to approve their nomination. And at a time when our nation is facing both internal and external threats, America needs Alejandro Mayorkas at the helm of DHS to both undo the damage of the last four years and to protect our national security.”
“Confirming the president’s cabinet members responsible for keeping our nation safe and healthy demands priority,” said María Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino. “As Secretary-delegate of the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra must be confirmed so that the HHS can begin working to slow the spread of COVID-19 and manage vaccine distribution. Alejandro Mayorkas must be confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure our country is safe, especially in the wake of January 6. The Senate must do its job and quickly. The country cannot wait.”
“The U.S. Senate must work expeditiously to confirm President Biden’s Cabinet nominees who are Latino and exceptionally qualified for their respective designated positions,” said Arturo Vargas, CEO of the NALEO Educational Fund. “Secretary-Designate Becerra, Secretary-Designate Cardona, Secretary-Designate Mayorkas and Administrator-Designate Guzman are among the nation’s most gifted leaders and deserve a fair and timely confirmation process.”
“One of the most important ways the Latino population will have a voice in the issues that impact their daily lives is by being represented at all government levels—ranging from the municipal to federal government to appointed governing positions, including courts, public boards, staff and presidential administrations,” said Marco A. Davis, CHCI President and CEO. “Moreover, as Latinos are among the most impacted by COVID-19, in the areas most affected: health risks, barriers to education, vulnerability due to citizenship status and loss of business income, the four nominees President Biden has named—Becerra, Cardona, Mayorkas and Guzman—should already be in place, helping the entire nation address and recover from the pandemic.”
“Given the significant challenges our country faces, action is needed right away to confirm Cabinet nominees,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “The Biden administration has put forth excellent and qualified candidates who will bring their expertise to work for the American people and who themselves represent some of the communities most affected by our current challenges. We urge Senators on both sides of the aisle to move quickly on the confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas, Xavier Becerra, Miguel Cardona and Isabel Guzman for their respective posts. After four years of dysfunction, we need a Congress and an administration focused on resolving the urgent challenges our nation faces. The elections are over and it’s time to get down to work.”
“Our nation has never lived a moment like the events of this last year that have challenged our fundamental economic, health and democratic foundations,” said Ramiro A. Cavazos, President and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). “President Biden has brought forth renewed hope for tackling America’s present circumstances with talented, committed and battle-tested Cabinet Secretary nominees. The USHCC urges that the
four Latino Cabinet nominees be swiftly confirmed by the U.S. Senate during this solemn and historic time in our nation’s history to bring their life’s work of collective public service to bear effective results and compelling solutions. Voices of diversity, especially Latinos who account for 61 million of the U.S. population, will only help to effectuate the change needed to improve quality of life and ensure economic recovery for all. We demand accountability by those in Congress who are delaying President Biden’s Latino nominees whose confirmations were already deferred by the previous administration’s obsolescence.”
“Latinos are dying of coronavirus at unprecedented rates, our communities are facing sky-high unemployment,” said Héctor Sánchez Barba, Executive Director and CEO of Mi Familia Vota. “We organized and knocked on doors in the midst of a pandemic to protect our democracy. Congress must honor the will of the people and the hard work of our communities and confirm President Biden’s cabinet officials so they can get to work solving the big problems facing our country. Our community cannot wait for political grandstanding in Congress we need action NOW.”
“With the nomination of the most diverse Cabinet and Administration in history–including the nominations of Alejandro Mayorkas, Xavier Becerra, Dr. Miguel Cardona, and Isabel Guzman to critical positions–President Biden is creating a government that is truly reflective of America, and the U.S. Senate should follow this example by quickly confirming these highly qualified individuals,” said Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of Hispanic Federation. “As the second largest racial or ethnic group in America, Latinos must be seen and heard in the halls of government, including in leadership positions where they can provide valuable insight to the President, his team, and members of Congress as they make some of the most important decisions of their political careers.”
Proyecto 20% is a coalition of national Latino organizations (UnidosUS, Hispanic Federation, Mi Familia Vota, MALDEF, NALEO, CHCI, LULAC, Latino Victory Fund, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Voto Latino) that have been advocating for at least 20 percent of the approximately 4,000 political appointments and other jobs to be filled by President Biden are held by Latino and Latinas.