Joe Biden

While president-elect Joe Biden has been under pressure to choose a very diverse and forward-thinking cabinet, he’s gone back in time for his nomination to be Secretary of Agriculture.

His pick, Tom Vilsack, served in that position for all eight years of the Obama administration. And while some see the choice as safe and a good compromise, others from both sides of the political spectrum are not happy.

“I was not impressed with Vilsack,” said Darvin Brantledge, a cattle and corn farmer who owns a 1,200-acre plot of land in western Missouri and who voted for Biden.

Updated at 9:37 a.m. ET

On Monday, 538 electors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will cast their votes for president, marking a key next step for Joe Biden as he gets closer to officially becoming the 46th president of the United States.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

It may come and go without much fanfare, but on Tuesday, the U.S. will pass a key deadline cementing President-elect Joe Biden's victory as the 46th president.

The day, Dec. 8, is known as the "safe harbor" deadline for states to certify their results, compelling Congress to accept those results.

Most Americans see Election Day as the end of the long political season aimed at choosing new federal leadership, but it's really only the beginning.

Among the promises that President elect-Biden is expected to fulfill immediately upon taking office: lifting a ban that President Trump imposed on U.S. foreign aid dollars related to abortion.

The transition from a Trump administration that dismantled regulations across the federal government to a Biden administration that has signaled a greater emphasis on occupational safety and the environment may finally mean new action on a toxic form of dust in coal mines.

Multiple coronavirus vaccines appear to be on the horizon, but the U.S. economy is on shaky footing, and before those vaccines are expected to become widely available, millions of Americans could first fall off an economic cliff.

Updated at 2:38 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden stressed a return to multilateralism Tuesday as he introduced key national security and foreign policy appointees and nominees for his incoming White House Cabinet, moving forward with the traditional transition process even though President Trump still hasn't formally admitted defeat.

After decades advocating for action on climate change as a U.S. senator and then secretary of state, John Kerry has been tapped for a newly created post — special presidential envoy for climate, based on the National Security Council.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

The United States has had 77 Treasury secretaries in the last 231 years. So far, they've all been men.

That's about to change.

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to head the Treasury Department, a source close to the transition told NPR on Monday

If confirmed, Yellen would play a leading role in shaping economic policy as the United States continues to dig its way out of the deep hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

As President-elect Joe Biden continues to assemble his advisers and Cabinet, one name being floated could add another historic first to his administration.

Politico reported Thursday that dozens of House Democrats sent a letter to Biden's transition team endorsing New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland for interior secretary.

Haaland, 59, is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna. In 2018, she and Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., became the first two Native American women elected to Congress.

U.S. oil and gas companies will soon be facing a climate-conscious president who has vowed to transition away from the oil industry.

So you might expect a sense of existential dread in the oil world about President-elect Joe Biden. Instead, there's a surprising amount of optimism.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Antony Blinken for the coveted secretary of state post.

Blinken, 58, has extensive foreign policy experience, serving as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser under President Barack Obama.

As president, Donald Trump slashed refugee admissions to the United States to a record low. Paradoxically, his administration also took major steps to highlight the persecution of religious minorities around the world, a key driver of global refugee movements.

As President Trump continues to contest the results of the election, President-elect Joe Biden continues to shape his administration, which will take office on Jan. 20. But there is still no formal transition underway, a far cry from the last several times new presidents have taken power.

In 2009, just before then-President-elect Barack Obama was to deliver his inaugural address, members of the outgoing Bush administration's national security team sat down with the people who were about to take their place.

Updated at 10:40 a.m. EST 11/20/20

Choosing an attorney general is a critical task for a new president in normal times.

But after nearly four years of attack from President Trump, who pushed the Justice Department to punish his enemies and protect his friends, these are not normal times, as former Solicitor General Don Verrilli pointed out recently to an online audience at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Updated April 28, 2021 at 6:19 PM ET

The U.S. Senate continues to take up President Biden's nominees for key roles.

The top figures in an administration are made up of a combination of Cabinet and high-ranking nominees who require Senate confirmation, and senior advisers tapped by the president, who don't require congressional approval.

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to reassert America's commitment to refugees after the Trump White House's slashing of the resettlement program, part of the current president's anti-immigration drive.

In 2016, President Barack Obama aimed to admit 110,000 refugees. President Trump lowered the cap on refugee admissions every year of his presidency. For fiscal year 2021, he set the cap at 15,000, the lowest on record.

When President Trump took office, he quickly unleashed a torrent of immigration policies — including his first "travel ban" on people from majority-Muslim countries.

President-elect Joe Biden is now expected to reverse that policy — along with other controversial Trump administration actions — in the first days of his administration.

But other recent changes to the U.S. immigration system may take months, if not years, to unwind. And experts say Biden's ability to reshape the country's immigration system will be sharply limited if Republicans retain control of the Senate.

The United States' chief allies in East Asia, South Korea and Japan, welcomed Joe Biden's electoral victory over the weekend, expecting that the former vice president will rebuild their decades-old alliances, which have been challenged during four years of unprecedented strain under the Trump administration.

As a young man, Joe Biden was fixated on a singular goal: "On his first date with his future wife, he told her mother that he wanted to grow up to be president," New Yorker writer Evan Osnos says.

Osnos, who writes about the Democratic presidential candidate in his new book, Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now, notes that the 2020 election represents Biden's third bid for the presidency.

In late May, employees at a bank in Kannapolis, N.C., called the local police to report an abandoned white Ford van in the bank's parking lot.

When officers arrived, they looked into the van's windows and saw an array of items: an AR-15 rifle, the box for a handgun, a canister of explosive material, and a box of ammunition, according to a court document. Police say they towed and searched the van, finding more than $500,000 in cash, drawings of swastikas and planes crashing into buildings, books on survival and bomb-making, and a half-dozen firearms.

Updated at 5:04 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says that if elected, he will convene a national commission to study the court system, his latest answer to questions about whether he would seek to add justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After weeks of deflecting on whether he would seek to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court if elected president, Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Monday went the furthest he's gone on the issue as of late, saying he's "not a fan."

This was maybe the worst presidential debate in American history.

If this was supposed to be a boxing match, it instead turned into President Trump jumping on the ropes, refusing to come down, the referee trying to coax him off, and Joe Biden standing in the middle of the ring with his gloves on and a confused look on his face.

Trump doesn't play by anyone's rules, even those he's agreed to beforehand. He's prided himself on that. But even by his standards, what Trump did Tuesday night crossed many lines.

President Trump's hesitation, once again, to denounce white supremacy during Tuesday's presidential debate is drawing quick condemnation from anti-racism activists — as are his unusual comments directed at a white supremacist group called the Proud Boys.

During an exchange on the debate stage, moderator Chris Wallace repeatedly asked Trump if he would condemn white supremacists. Trump initially sidestepped that question, claiming that he mostly sees violence "from the left wing."

Three months after becoming San Francisco's district attorney in 2004, Kamala Harris faced a trial by fire.

Harris had just won her first run for office by positioning herself slightly to the right of her liberal predecessor and by promising to run a more professional office as the city's top prosecutor. She pledged to tackle domestic violence and sex trafficking and stand up for those who had felt ignored.

Democrat Joe Biden's lead has expanded to double-digits against President Trump in the presidential election, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds. Biden now leads Trump 53% to 42%, up from an 8-point advantage at the end of June.

The change comes as 71% of Americans now see the coronavirus as a real threat, up significantly over the last several months, as more than 167,000 Americans have died and more than 5 million have become infected with the virus, as of Friday.

If Joe Biden wins the presidency, his Justice Department will face a decision with huge legal and political implications: whether to investigate and prosecute President Trump.

So far, the candidate is approaching that question very carefully.

In a recent interview with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Biden said: "I will not interfere with the Justice Department's judgment of whether or not they think they should pursue a prosecution."

Former national security adviser Susan Rice told NPR she's "honored and humbled" to be on Joe Biden's shortlist for vice president and that her lengthy tenure in the executive branch would make her an effective No. 2.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates.


California Rep. Karen Bass was a relative unknown on the national stage until just a few months ago. Now she is among the contenders to be Joe Biden's pick for his vice presidential running mate.

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