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Biden decides on pick for secretary of State

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Joe BidenJoe BidenRomney on Trump election tactics: ‘Difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action’ by president Biden promises federal government will pay for National Guard coronavirus work: ‘That should be paid for’ House committee chairs demand briefing from GSA head on presidential transition MORE has decided on his pick for secretary of State as the president-elect works to put together a team that can be confirmed by a possibly GOP-controlled Senate.

A source familiar with the process confirmed to The Hill that Biden has made up his mind for who he wants to serve as the nation’s top diplomat and that an announcement is expected within the next week.





It was not immediately clear who Biden’s nominee would be, but a former Obama administration official confirmed to The Hill that Tony Blinken, a veteran diplomat and longtime Biden ally, has been considered a frontrunner for the post.

Blinken has been viewed across Washington as someone who would be highly qualified for the role, given his past tenure as the No. 2 at the State Department as well as his stints on Capitol Hill and in the Obama White House as deputy national security adviser.

A spokesperson for the transition declined to confirm that Biden had picked a State Department nominee. Axios was the first to report that he had made a decision.

Among other people who have been floated to helm the State Department under Biden are Sens. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBipartisan pair of Senators call on Egypt to address case of imprisoned human rights advocate Ethics experts ask Senate to investigate Graham’s probe of mail-in voting Hillicon Valley: Trump national security advisor says Huawei threat ‘No. 1 concern’ moving forward | Silicon Valley eager for Biden to reverse Trump visa rules | Democratic senators urge Facebook to take action against anti-Muslim bigotry MORE (D-Del.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Formal negotiations inch forward on defense bill with Confederate base name language | Senators look to block B UAE arms sales | Trump administration imposes Iran sanctions over human rights abuses Senators move to block Trump’s B UAE arms sale Democratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry MORE (D-Conn.), former U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Burns and former national security adviser and United Nations ambassador Susan Rice.

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Biden has already said he’s chose who he will nominate to serve as Treasury secretary, though he also declined to specify who he’ll tap to fill that role. The president-elect said this week that person would “be accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party, from the progressive to the moderate coalitions.”

The president-elect could face a fight with the Senate after his inauguration if Democrats do not win two Georgia Senate runoffs in January, and with it the Senate majority, given that he’d essentially have to get sign off from Republicans led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRomney on Trump election tactics: ‘Difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action’ by president We need a new COVID-19 stimulus package now McConnell, Pelosi hunt for funding deal as shutdown deadline looms MORE (Ky.) on his Cabinet picks. However, GOP senators have indicated that they will look to confirm nominees who they don’t view as outside the mainstream.

Beyond his Cabinet, Biden has begun staffing his White House with allies and members of the Obama administration, unveiling a new slate of hires Friday, with his transition saying it’s putting a premium on hiring diverse people who look “like America.”

Amie Parnes and Brett Samuels contributed to this report.

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thehill.com




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