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Biden nominates Dr. Miguel Cardona as education secretary

The president-elect will be sworn into office in 29 days.
Image: President-elect Joe Biden announces members of his climate and energy appointments at the Queen theater
President-elect Joe Biden announces members of his climate and energy appointments at the Queen theater on Dec. 19, 2020 in Wilmington, Del.Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden nominated Dr. Miguel Cardona, Connecticut's commissioner of education, for education secretary, multiple sources told NBC News on Tuesday.

If he's confirmed by the Senate, Cardona would oversee getting the majority of the nation’s students back into schools — something Biden has pledged to do within his first 100 days. Many students across the country have had to receive their education virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic this year.

"Even as we work to reopen our schools safely and responsibly, we also need to build a public education system that lifts up all Americans, regardless of race, background, or zipcode," Biden said in a statement. "I look forward to working alongside him to help every child reach their God-given potential."

During his campaign, Biden said he would choose someone who taught in public schools for education secretary. Cardona began his career as an elementary school teacher in Connecticut and then served as a school principal for 10 years.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont appointed Cardona as the state’s education commissioner in August 2019.

Cardona, who is Puerto Rican, would further diversify Biden’s Cabinet. The president-elect could make the announcement as early as this week. CNN first reported the development.

In other transition news:

  • Biden delivered remarks ahead of the Christmas holiday around 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday and is expected to take questions from reporters. The last time Biden took questions from the press in a formal setting was Dec. 4.

  • He will also receive the president’s daily intelligence brief and meet with transition advisers.

  • President Donald Trump has no public events. Vice President Mike Pence will travel to West Palm Beach, Florida, and will deliver remarks at the Turning Point USA student action summit.
  • Congress passed a nearly $900 billion Covid-19 relief package and government funding measure Monday evening which includes direct payments of up to $600 a person based on income and an extra $300 for unemployment insurance a week. Trump is expected to sign the legislation in the coming days.
  • Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., tweeted that he attended a meeting at the White House on Monday with Trump, Pence, the president's legal team and other members of Congress. He said that he will "lead an objection to Georgia’s electors on Jan. 6," which is when Congress will count the electoral votes awarded to Biden and Harris.
  • Federal prosecutors have discussed making a legal request for Rudy Giuliani's electronic communications, NBC News reported Monday evening, a sign that the investigation into Trump's personal attorney remains active and may soon be intensifying.