Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth has backed off her vow to oppose Biden nominees over his administration not having Asian-Americans in high-ranking posts.
The Illinois senator told CNN on Tuesday that she planned to vote "no" on all Biden nominations unless he appointed Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to key executive branch positions. She later retracted that vow after assurances from the Biden administration about elevating members of that community to key posts.
Duckworth spokesperson Ben Garmisa said the administration assured the senator it would do everything possible to elevate Asian Americans and appoint an Asian-American to a senior White House position, according to Politico.
"Accordingly, she will not stand in the way of President Biden’s qualified nominees – which will include more AAPI leaders," Garmisa said.
The exchange follows a mass shooting earlier this week outside of Atlanta in which six Asian-American women were killing, drawing attention to a part of the U.S. population that is underrepresented and increasingly the target of racism.
Duckworth, born in Thailand, purported made the vow after urging the White House to elevate a member or members of that community to a key post and was told Vice President Kamal Harris is of South Asian heritage.
Duckworth said the response was "insulting."
Duckworth was also joined by Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono in their pledge to block future Biden nominees.
Duckworth and Hirono's comments follow Biden nominee Neera Tanden, who identifies as an Asian American woman, failing to win Senate confirmed to lead the Office of Management and Budget.