Tri-Caucus Leaders Urge President-Elect Joe Biden to Nominate an AAPI Cabinet

Dec. 19,
2020, WASHINGTON, DC – Today, leaders of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – composed of the Congressional Asian
Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) –
President-elect Joe Biden to nominate an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Cabinet Secretary. If an AAPI is not nominated to
fill one of the remaining Cabinet Secretary roles, it will be the first time in over 20 years that AAPIs are not represented amongst the 15
Cabinet heads who run executive departments. CAPAC Chair Judy Chu (CA-27), CBC Chair Karen Bass (CA-37), CHC Chair Joaquin
Castro (TX-20), CBC Chair-elect Joyce Beatty (OH-03), and CHC Chair-elect Raul Ruiz (CA-36) released the following joint statement:

“President-elect Joe Biden promised to build the most diverse Cabinet in history. But to date, AAPIs have been excluded from the
15 Cabinet Secretary slots that oversee executive departments within our federal government. For too long, AAPIs have been
overlooked and left out of important policy discussions impacting communities of color, including on issues like immigration and
healthcare. That is why, we, as heads of the Tri-Caucus, are urging President-elect Biden to ensure there is an AAPI Cabinet
Secretary, just as there has been for over 20 years.  Already, we are so overjoyed that incredible Black and Hispanic leaders have
been named as Cabinet Secretaries. And we are thrilled with the historic nominations of the first Native American and first openly
gay Cabinet Secretaries. But without an AAPI Cabinet Secretary, we could not celebrate this as a truly diverse Cabinet because it
sends the message that AAPIs do not need to be included. This cuts against the philosophy of the Tri-Caucus.

“We know from our own experiences that embracing diversity is the key to our success. As heads of individual caucuses, we
represent communities of color across our nation. As a Tri-Caucus, we represent over half the House Democratic caucus. That
means that instead of pitting communities of color against each other to fight for limited resources, our unity allows us to achieve
victories on behalf of all communities of color. This same commitment to diversity should be reflected at the top of our
government. Not including an AAPI Cabinet Secretary for the first time in over two decades would erode the historic gains the
AAPI community has made and send the wrong message that ‘diversity’ does not include AAPIs. If President-elect Biden is
looking to build a government that truly reflects the rich diversity of our country, there must be an AAPI Cabinet Secretary. Close
to equal is not equal.”
CAPAC Warns: Not Naming an AAPI to the Cabinet at the Secretary-level is
Dec 11-- WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) urged President-Elect Biden to
nominate an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) to fill one of the remaining Secretary-level positions in his Cabinet. If this does
not happen, it will be the first time in over two decades that there is no AAPI Cabinet Secretary serving in a presidential administration.
CAPAC Members released the following statement:  

“AAPIs are the fastest growing racial population in the country and came out in record numbers to elect Joe Biden to be our next
President of the United States. And yet, for the first time in over two decades, we are facing the possibility that there might not be a
single AAPI Cabinet Secretary in a presidential administration. Let us be clear: that outcome is unacceptable.

“President-elect Biden promised to build an inclusive government that reflects the diversity of our nation. To not include an AAPI official
as a Cabinet Secretary overseeing a federal department would send the wrong message that AAPIs do not need to be included. We
already see the exclusion of AAPIs in critical policy conversations regarding the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities
of color, immigration, and racial justice that often overlook our community due to the harmful ‘model minority’ stereotype that paints
AAPIs as a monolithic group.

“The only way to ensure our needs are being included in these discussions is for AAPIs to have a seat at the table at all levels,
including as Cabinet Secretaries. Ever since President Clinton appointed Secretary Norman Mineta – our first CAPAC Chairman and
one of the founding members of our caucus – to serve as a Cabinet Secretary, there has always been at least one AAPI Cabinet
Secretary under both Democratic and Republican administrations. President Barack Obama had a record three AAPI Cabinet
Secretaries, President George W. Bush had two AAPI Cabinet Secretaries, and even President Donald Trump has one AAPI Cabinet
Secretary. If we do not have an AAPI Cabinet Secretary in the Biden Administration, it will undermine the historic progress that AAPIs
have made over the past 20 years. The millions of AAPIs who came out to vote for a President who promised to see them and hear
them, and who promised to unite us, are watching.”