Senate committees began confirmation hearings on Tuesday for five nominees for President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet. The Senate returned to Capitol Hill for the first time since it certified Biden’s electoral victory and the attack by radical supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump. Tuesday’s confirmation hearings included the following nominees:
Antony Blinken, 58, for secretary of state. Blinken served as deputy secretary of state under President Barack Obama, and has played a key role in crafting U.S. foreign policy actions in the Middle East.
Janet Yellen, 74, for secretary of the treasury. Yellen was the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve when she served as chairwoman from 2014 to 2018. If confirmed, Yellen would be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department.
Lloyd Austin III, 67, for secretary of defense. Lloyd is a retired four-star general, who was a commander in Iraq and retired from the U.S. Army in 2016 as chief of U.S. Central Command. Beginning in 2014, he directed the U.S. response to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. If confirmed, he would be the first Black American to serve as defense secretary.
Alejandro Mayorkas, 61, for secretary of homeland security. Mayorkas is a former U.S. Attorney who served as director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during the Obama administration and helped craft the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. A Cuban American, Mayorkas is the first Latinx person nominated for the DHS post.
Avril Haines, 51, for director of national intelligence. Haines was deputy CIA director and deputy national security adviser for two years during the Obama administration. If she’s confirmed, Haines would be the first woman to hold the nation’s top intelligence post.