The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed two new members of Joe Biden’s administration: CIA President William Burns and Hispanic Xavier Beckera, the first U.S. health minister.
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Rare moment in deeply divided Congress, William Burns was invested by the unanimous vote of senators.
A diplomat for 33 years, this former ambassador to Moscow has a different profile for the post: he is not military, political, or intelligence.
Avril Hines, the new head of US intelligence, warmly welcomed the confirmation that he was “an extraordinary public servant who has devoted most of his life to serving the government.”
During a hearing he confirmed in the Senate in January, the former diplomat assured him that he had a deep knowledge of the CIA, which he continues to serve throughout his life.
He was the craftsman of the conversation with Tehran, which led to the International Atomic Energy Agreement in 2015, believing that “the United States must do everything possible to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”
He retired in 2014 before taking over the chairmanship of the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, a think tank for international peace. The exchange plan with a Chinese organization was seen by some senators as a propaganda ploy.
During his investigation, he said the Chinese government’s “predatory” attitude represented a “huge geopolitical challenge” to the United States.
In a very close vote, by 50 votes to 49, senators on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Xavier Beckeray as Joe Biden’s health minister, the first Hispanic to hold this key position amid the Govt-19 epidemic, which has killed more than 530,000 in the United States.
Xavier Beckeray, California’s attorney general who was elected to the House of Representatives for more than two decades, “fought for his life to expand access to the health care system,” Joe Biden said when announcing his appointment in December.
Republicans condemned his lack of medical experience and regarded him as too progressive.
Joe Biden has appointed several Hispanic officials in his administration: Xavier Beckera, whose mother is of Mexican descent; Cuban-born Alejandro Myorgas and the first Hispanic to be head of the Ministry of Homeland Security; And Miguel Cardona, of Puerto Rican descent, are heads of the Ministry of Education.
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