AP: Biden to pick California AG Xavier Becerra to lead HHS

San Francisco Sheriff
Posted at 3:46 PM, Dec 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-06 18:50:44-05

(KGTV) — President-elect Joe Biden is set to select California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the pandemic response as Health and Human Services secretary.

According to Associated Press sources, Becerra will be nominated to lead the department, which will require confirmation. If confirmed, he will be the first Latino to lead the department.

The HHS is a $1-trillion-plus agency with 80,000 employees and oversees several issues including drugs and vaccines, medical research, and health insurance programs. During his time as AG, Becerra has been an advocate of the Affordable Care Act.

Biden has been under increasing pressure to expand racial and ideological diversity in his Cabinet and other top jobs, the AP reported. Of the nine major picks made so far, Biden has selected two white men: Secretary of State choice Antony Blinken and chief of staff Ron Klain.

Civil rights leaders have called for diverse choices for the "big four" Cabinet positions of secretaries of state, defense, treasury, and the attorney general. Biden has not committed to appointing the positions to any specific nominees yet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.