Mr. Biden was impressed by Mr. Becerra’s private story, based on an individual accustomed to his pondering. Specifically, the president-elect favored the truth that Mr. Becerra served purchasers with psychological well being wants shortly after graduating from legislation faculty, 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 selection of Mr. Becerra, calling it “historic” and saying the California legal professional basic was the fitting 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 a vital function in overseeing an enormous 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 Reasonably priced Care Act.”
Within the late Nineteen 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 had been “personally insulted” by the go to.
Mr. Biden’s choice of Mr. Becerra to exchange the present secretary, Alex M. Azar II, comes because the president-elect is beneath rising strain 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 regarded as in line for the well being secretary’s job, however she apparently fell out of the operating. As a substitute, information leaked final week that Ms. Lujan Grisham had been provided, and turned down, the place of inside secretary.