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Senators battle White House over lack of Asian cabinet members

Duckworth and Hirono call for greater representation amid spate of hate crimes

Sen. Tammy Duckworth has advocated for greater Asian American and Pacific Islander representation at the top levels of government.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- The White House has avoided a potential rift in the Senate after two Democrats clashed with the Biden administration over a lack of Asian American representation among cabinet secretaries, exposing the party's tenuous grip on power in an evenly divided chamber.

The administration was caught off guard after Sen. Tammy Duckworth, of Illinois, and Sen. Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, said they would not vote for non-diverse nominees from the White House until the Biden administration addressed the lack of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in his cabinet.

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