What they are saying about Biden’s economic and jobs team Updated for 2021


Updated: February 27, 2021

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. introduced additional key nominees for his economic and jobs team on Friday, including Governor Gina Raimondo as Secretary of Commerce, Mayor Marty Walsh as Secretary of Labor, Isabel Guzman as Small Business Administrator, and Don Graves as Deputy Secretary of Commerce.

Below is what they are saying about them:

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GOVERNOR GINA RAIMONDO, SECRETARY OF COMMERCE NOMINEESenator Jack Reed: Congrats to @GovRaimondo for being tapped to lead @CommerceGov! Governor Raimondo has made a positive difference for RI and now she will be a positive force for the nation! [Tweet, 1/7/21]

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: Great news for Rhode Island! @GovRaimondo will be excellent and revive the Dept of (Oceans and) Commerce. Oceans has been a stepchild too long, and it’s urgent now. [Tweet, 1/7/21

Representative David Cicilline: Governor Gina Raimondo prepares to leave Rhode Island in much better shape than she found it. Few governors have been as consequential for our state. [1/7/21]

George Nee, President, Rhode Island AFL-CIO: Governor Raimondo has demonstrated real, progressive leadership. [Providence Journal, 11/13/20]

Robert Walsh, Executive Director, National Education Association Rhode Island: “I think she will do incredibly well in the Biden Cabinet — this job is right up her alley,” Walsh said. “And it’s good to have a liaison to the business world in America and abroad that has a Democratic perspective but also a solid business background.” [Boston Globe, 1/7/21]

Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General: Congratulations to @GinaRaimondo. You have been a great partner to our office, leading on important initiatives of economic development and environmental protection. Looking forward to working with you in your new role as Secretary of Commerce. [Tweet, 1/7/21]

Christopher Padilla, IBM Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs: IBM welcomes today’s news that President-elect Biden has tapped Governor Gina Raimondo to be the next U.S. Secretary of Commerce. IBM has worked successfully with Governor Raimondo to ensure America’s workforce is ready for the “new collar” jobs of the future, and on reforming our education and skills system to provide additional pathways for people without degrees. We know from experience that she is a strong, committed and creative leader. We look forward to working with the Secretary to drive economic recovery, expand access to opportunity, promote digital trade and strengthen U.S. technology leadership. [Twitter, 1/7/21]

Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean, Brown University School of Public Health: Over the past 5 months, I have gotten to know @GovRaimondo and she is….well….awesome. I know this is great news for the country — and as an American, I should be happy. But as someone new to RI — this is a HUGE loss for us. [Tweet, 1/7/21

Heidi Hartmann, Institute for Women’s Policy Research: “Governor Raimondo has done well in addressing the coronavirus through testing and she also leads a state with a paid family and medical leave program — an early adopter,” said Heidi Hartmann, the founder of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Her background in economics and finance and her advanced degrees make her an excellent choice for Commerce, which has several agencies where science is very important and whose needs are often overlooked when appointing a leader.” [The 19th, 1/8/21]

Democratic Governors Association: “…During her tenure as Rhode Island’s governor, the Ocean State turned a corner. Rhode Island saw the most jobs in the state’s history and the lowest unemployment in 30 years,” he said. She “more than quadrupled the number of state pre-k classrooms and brought about tuition free community college. She helped the state grow its clean energy economy, protect access to health care and when the pandemic hit,  [Raimondo] took decisive action … listening to public health experts and making data-backed decisions.” Democratic governors across the country look forward to working with Gov. Raimondo in her new role to help America safely recover from the pandemic and build an economy that works for everyone.” [Statement, 1/8/21]

Center for American Progress: As governor of Rhode Island, Raimondo has prioritized jobs, small businesses, and growing the economy, and we have no doubt she will bring this dedication to the Commerce Department. [Statement, 1/8/21

MAYOR MARTY WALSH, SECRETARY OF LABOR NOMINEERobert Reich, Former Secretary of Labor: Congratulations to Mayor @marty_walsh on his selection by Biden to be Labor Secretary. Marty is a strong champion of American workers. [Tweet, 1/7/21]

Senator Patty Murray, Chairwoman, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee: Longtime union member & Mayor @marty_walsh—whose career shows his deep commitment to those who do the real work of keeping our country running—is an excellent choice to lead @USDOL. I plan to move quickly to get him confirmed for this crucial role. [Tweet, 1/8/21]

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee: My friend Mayor @Marty_Walsh is a champion for America’s labor unions and a fierce fighter for working families. I am delighted that President-elect Biden has chosen Marty as our next @USDOL Secretary to make our government work for working people. [@senWarren, Twitter, 1/7/21]

Senator Ed Markey: Fantastic News. As A Union Leader, @marty_walsh Will Bring The Commitment To Workers And Working Families That Is Desperately Needed Right Now. His Tremendous Leadership In Boston On Climate Action, Health Care, And Social Justice Make Him Ready On Day 1. [Twitter, 1/7/21]

Senator Sherrod Brown: Under the Biden Administration, we will reclaim the Department of Labor from President Trump’s corporate shills. Looking forward to working with Mayor @MartyJWalsh to restore the Dignity of Work as @USDOL’s mission. [Tweet, 1/7/21]

Representative Katherine Clark: As Labor Secretary, @MartyJWalsh will not only lead the fight to get Americans back to work — he’ll fight for their safety and dignity, too. Congrats, Marty, and welcome to Washington! [Tweet, 1/7/21]

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot: Congratulations to my friend Mayor @marty_walsh on being chosen for Secretary of Labor. With millions of Americans out of work and struggling to pay bills, it’s more important than ever to have a Sec. of Labor who’s on the side of working families. [Tweet, 1/8/21]

Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO: Boston Mayor @marty_walsh will be an exceptional labor secretary for the same reason he was an outstanding mayor: he carried the tools. As a longtime union member, @marty_walsh knows that collective bargaining is essential to building back better by combating inequality, beating COVID-19 and expanding opportunities for immigrants, women and people of color. He will have the ear of the White House, the Cabinet and Congress as we work to increase union density and create a stronger, fairer America. [ Twitter, 1/7/21]

Mary Kay Henry, President, SEIU: As Boston mayor, @marty_walsh supported job creation, expanded healthcare and justice for communities of color. He brings a pro-worker vision for a stronger America to the Department of Labor when it is badly needed. The children of immigrants, @marty_walsh  knows that we all deserve a fair shot to get ahead, regardless of the color of our skin or where we were born. His track record shows he stands up for working people, including in our fight for $15 and a Union. @SEIU members across Massachusetts know @marty_walsh as a champion for working people. Excited for working people across America that he will go to work every day on their behalf. Urge all senators to quickly confirm him so we can unrig the rules for all workers. [Twitter, 1/7/21]

Marc Perrone, President, United Food and Commercial Workers: With Marty Walsh serving as Labor Secretary, American workers will know they have a champion who will hold corporations accountable and support the good-paying union jobs our country needs. [Reuters, 1/7/21]

Sara Nelson, President, The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA: The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA congratulates Mayor Marty Walsh on his nomination for Secretary of Labor and urges his swift confirmation to lead the Labor Department at this critical moment for the American workforce and our battered economy. In Secretary-designate Walsh, President-elect Biden has chosen a leader with a lifelong, bone-deep commitment to workers and the labor movement, borne from his own experience growing up in a union family, working in a union job and serving as a union leader. [Statement, 1/8/21]

Communication Workers of America: Marty Walsh is a trade unionist to his core and an excellent choice to lead the Department of Labor during this critical time. Nearly every policy that Joe Biden has proposed includes a focus on strengthening the middle class and making sure workers have the freedom to join together in unions to stand up for themselves and improve their workplaces. By choosing a union member and union leader who is as trusted, experienced and effective as Mayor Walsh, President-elect Biden has shown that he means what he says. Having Marty Walsh as a member of the Cabinet means that working people will have one of their own in the room and at the table every time a decision is made that affects their lives. [Statement, 1/7/21]

United Auto Workers: Today’s selection of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh puts a labor member, long-time administrator and friend of working families in a very important but often underappreciated agency. There is much work to be done to re-establish the rightful role of the Labor Department from a period of ideological attack on working families and labor workplace protections. For the last four years, the labor protection mechanisms at the Labor Department and the appointees of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have been dominated by anti-worker ideologues. The nomination of Marty Walsh is a strong step toward restoring the integrity and fair application of labor laws to our nation. [1/7/21]

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers: Workers need a champion in Washington—and Marty Walsh would be a crucial addition to an administration dedicated to fighting for the forgotten and rebuilding an enduring middle class [Tweet, 1/7/21]

Machinists Union: In the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the worst economic period since the Great Depression, working people could not have asked for a better nominee for Secretary of Labor than  @Marty_Walsh. Mayor Walsh proved himself to be a fierce ally of our union by helping us fight back against the privatization of more than 400 @IAM264Boston bus mechanic jobs at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. We are eagerly looking forward to working with Mayor Walsh as he ‘builds back better’ at @USDOL. The Senate should swiftly confirm him as the next Secretary of Labor. [Tweet, 1/7/21]

Teamsters: The Teamsters are elated with President-elect Biden’s nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as the next Secretary of @USDOL. Hardworking Americans will be hard pressed to find a person who stands up for their wellbeing more than Mayor Walsh. [Tweet, 1/7/21]

National Immigration Law Center: .@Marty_Walsh is a champion for workers’ rights. He’s a proven leader w/ deep roots in the labor movement who will put people at the center of the DoL when we need it most. We look forward to partnering with him to address economic inequality, racial injustice & workers’ rights. [Tweet, 1/8/21]

National League of Cities: “We applaud President-elect Biden’s nomination of Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as the next U.S. Labor Secretary – a cabinet position that is vital to our nation’s economic recovery. As mayor of Boston, one of our nation’s largest cities and an important regional hub, Mayor Walsh deeply understands the importance of supporting America’s workers and their families, particularly during the current public health crisis that has made workplace health and safety a priority for local leaders across the country…We are confident that Mayor Walsh’s experience leading one of our nation’s premiere cities will help the Biden administration empower local workforce solutions, streamline federal funding and drive new resources into proven solutions to ensure that all of the residents in our nation’s cities, towns and villages have opportunities to thrive.” [Statement, 1/7/21

ISABEL GUZMAN, SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR NOMINEELatino Victory Fund: Isabel Guzman is an experienced business leader who has demonstrated a deep commitment to support and advance small businesses. She is the right choice to lead the SBA at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing Latino small businesses to shutter and throwing Latinos’ economic advancements into a well of uncertainty. [Statement, 1/8/21]

Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce: Congratulations to Isabel Guzman. She has been a tireless advocate for California’s small businesses and will continue to do so in her role leading SBA. Honored to have her represent our Capital Region and state in her work under the Biden Administration. [Tweet, 1/8/21]

Main Street Alliance: We congratulate Isabel Casillas Guzman for her nomination to head SBA and the other economic team nominees. [Tweet. 1/8/21]

California Governor Gavin Newsom: Isabel Guzman embodies the story of the California and American Dream. As the daughter of a small business owner, Isabel was raised witnessing the power and opportunity of American entrepreneurism. With Isabel’s appointment, President-Elect Biden has chosen a true champion for small businesses to be our country’s next SBA Administrator.For almost two years, she has worked tirelessly as part of my Administration to ensure California’s small businesses have a seat at the table. Her leadership has been fundamental in guiding this state through the ongoing economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As an entrepreneur and Governor of California, which is home to 4.1 million of America’s small businesses, I thank and congratulate President-Elect Biden on Isabel’s nomination. She will lead our country’s small business recovery with the same grace, dignity and inclusive mindset that she did for California. [Statement, 1/7/21]

Senator-designate Alex Padilla: CONGRATS: @IsabelCGuzman has done amazing work in California, and she’s who America’s small businesses need to build back better. [Tweet, 1/7/21]

Congressional Hispanic Caucus: We applaud the appointment of Isabel Guzman as Small Business Administrator. Her experience as a small business entrepreneur & previous work at SBA will be critical in helping small businesses succeed. [Tweet, 1/7/21]

Rep. Nanetta Barragán: Excited to congratulate my fellow Angeleno Isabel Guzman on her selection as @SBAgov  Secretary. Her experience in economic development, small business and strategic initiatives will help small businesses thrive as we #BuildBackBetter from #COVID19 [Tweet, 1/7/21]

Rep. Joaquin Castro: An experienced public servant and entrepreneur, @IsabelCGuzman is the champion that small businesses need to recover from COVID-19, create jobs, and build back better. [Tweet, 1/8/21]

Rep. Grace Napolitano: Very welcome news- Congratulations @IsabelCGuzman on your new role. Look forward to working w/ you to strengthen small biz across the San Gabriel Valley and everywhere hard hit by economic downturn. I commend President-elect @JoeBiden on appointing a strong Latina to his Cabinet! [Tweet, 1/8/21]

Latino Victory Fund: Isabel Guzman is an experienced business leader who has demonstrated a deep commitment to support and advance small businesses. She is the right choice to lead the SBA at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing Latino small businesses to shutter and throwing Latinos’ economic advancements into a well of uncertainty. [Statement, 1/8/21]

Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce: Congratulations to Isabel Guzman. She has been a tireless advocate for California’s small businesses and will continue to do so in her role leading SBA. Honored to have her represent our Capital Region and state in her work under the Biden Administration. [Tweet, 1/8/21]

Main Street Alliance: We congratulate Isabel Casillas Guzman for her nomination to head SBA and the other economic team nominees. [Tweet. 1/8/21]

Rhett Buttle, senior adviser to Small Business for America’s Future: [Buttle] said he “can’t speak highly enough” of Guzman’s work ethnic and commitment to entrepreneurs. “After four years of an administration that put the needs of big business first, we are encouraged to see President-elect Biden give small businesses the leadership and help they deserve,” Buttle said. “We welcome an opportunity to discuss small business priorities with the new SBA administrator and commerce secretary.” [19th News, 1/7/21]

National Immigraton Law Center: 👏👏👏We’re thrilled @IsabelCGuzman was selected to lead the @SBAgov. During a time when immigrant-run small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges, Guzman will lead our recovery by focusing on getting our small businesses the support they need. [Tweet, 1/8/21]

DON GRAVES, DEPUTY SECRETARY OF COMMERCE NOMINEENational Housing Conference: On behalf of the National Housing Conference, I would like to commend President-elect Joseph Biden on his nomination of Don Graves, Jr. for Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Don Graves is the perfect person to bring together the interests of Main Street, Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Don understands the needs of American businesses to thrive in a modern economy, while ensuring they are able to do well by doing good. He will also be a fierce defender of America’s ability to compete in a dynamic and rapidly changing international economy. Don’s work leading the federal effort to revitalize Detroit in the wake of its bankruptcy played a significant role in the city’s revitalization. Don understood the importance of balancing community needs, industrial competitiveness and financial recovery. Victory has many fathers, and Don is one of them in the story of Detroit’s recovery. The Commerce Department has an enormous scope of responsibility from the Census Bureau to the International Trade Administration. Secretary-designate Raimondo will be well served with Don Graves serving as Deputy Secretary, with the advice and consent of the Senate. [Statement, 1/8/21]

Rhett Buttle, Small Business for America’s Future: We congratulate Commerce Secretary nominee Gov. Gina Raimondo, Small Business Administration Administrator nominee Isabel Guzman, Deputy Commerce Secretary nominee Don Graves and the rest of the high-caliber people nominated to serve on President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team. I’ve had the pleasure of working with both Isabel and Don in particular over the course of several years and can’t speak highly enough about their work ethic and commitment to America’s entrepreneurs. [Statement, 1/7/21]

David Clunie, Black Economic Alliance: I applaud President-Elect Biden for nominating Don Graves to be his Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Don brings the right combination of public and private sector experience to create economic growth and opportunity with an unprecedented focus on racial equity. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Don on economic inclusion of underserved communities at the Treasury Department and in the private sector, and I look forward to partnering with him in this new capacity to drive job creation, economic recovery, and long-term growth for every American.[ Statement, 1/8/21]

John Hope Bryant, Operation HOPE: @dgravesjr will be a great Deputy Commerce Secretary for the United States. I know him. I trust him. I believe in his keen intellect, and passion for everyone’s equal advancement. [Tweet, 1/8/21]

Spencer Overton, President, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies: Don brings years of recognized expertise and leadership on economic policy issues that are important to Black communities. His efforts to rebuild Detroit after its bankruptcy, assist then-Vice President Biden with the 2009 Recovery Act, and drive initiatives that bring financial services to more communities all demonstrate his leadership, values, and commitment. The Joint Center looks forward to continuing to work with Don in his new capacity as we rebuild our economy in a way that prioritizes racial equity and opportunity. [Statement, 1/8/21] 

Robert James II, Carver State Bank, Chairman of National Bankers Association: The National Bankers Association is very supportive of the selection of Don Graves to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce.  Don understands the needs of our member institutions in the larger context of supporting low-and-moderate-income communities and minority small businesses.  We look forward to working with him on efforts to fortify the Minority Business Development Agency and other programs at the Department of Commerce aimed at bolstering the communities we serve. [Statement, 1/8/21]

Telecommunications Industry Association: TIA looks forward to working with Gov. Raimondo and Mr. Graves, once they are confirmed, on a range of important issues that include improving supply chain security, expanding internet connectivity and access, promoting the competitiveness of trusted ICT manufacturers, and ensuring that the U.S. leads in standards innovation,” said TIA CEO, David Stehlin. [Statement, 1/8/21]

DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake: You have put in the work and will ensure that our country and her business is well handled. Proud of you King. Congratulations. Thank you for leading. Your time is now. [Tweet, 1/8/21]
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com


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