Mr. Biden was impressed by Mr. Becerra’s private story, in response to an individual conversant in his considering. Specifically, the president-elect favored the truth that Mr. Becerra served purchasers with psychological well being wants shortly after graduating from regulation college, the individual mentioned.
Whereas in Congress, Mr. Becerra was a fierce advocate of the Latino neighborhood and have become deeply concerned in efforts to overtake the nation’s immigration system. He additionally promoted plans to construct a nationwide museum dedicated to exploring the tradition and historical past of American Latinos. The House voted this year to create such a museum.
Consultant Filemon Vela, Democrat of Texas, praised Mr. Biden’s alternative of Mr. Becerra, calling it “historic” and saying the California legal professional basic was the proper individual to steer the sprawling company in the course of the worst public well being disaster in 100 years.
“Becerra will lead an company that can play an important position in overseeing a large immunization effort and assist handle a bolstered federal response to deal with the worsening Covid-19 disaster,” Mr. Vela mentioned. “He may also assist form the Biden administration’s efforts to construct on the Inexpensive Care Act.”
Within the late Nineties, Mr. Becerra traveled to Cuba and visited with its chief, Fidel Castro, which infuriated Republican members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. They resigned, saying they have been “personally insulted” by the go to.
Mr. Biden’s collection of Mr. Becerra to exchange the present secretary, Alex M. Azar II, comes because the president-elect is beneath growing stress from the Latino neighborhood and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to diversify his cupboard. Mr. Becerra is the second Latino Mr. Biden has chosen for his cupboard after the selection last month of Alejandro N. Mayorkas, a Cuban immigrant, as secretary of homeland safety.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico had been considered in line for the well being secretary’s job, however she apparently fell out of the operating. As an alternative, information leaked final week that Ms. Lujan Grisham had been supplied, and turned down, the place of inside secretary.