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Biden assembles team to handle Senate confirmation battles

November 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

President-elect Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, speaks about economic recovery at The Queen theater, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President-elect Joe Biden has assembled a team that will lead the confirmation battles for his nominees in the Senate.

(CNN)President-elect Joe Biden has assembled a team that will lead the confirmation battles for his nominees in the Senate.

The confirmation process could mark the Biden team's first political showdowns in the Senate, including with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell if Republicans hold onto their majority in the January 5 Georgia runoffs.

Confirmations teams typically guide nominees through the process, including preparing for hearings, navigating meetings with senators, and handling incoming pressure from outside groups.

The Biden team is also preparing a possible public relations blitz to "introduce nominees to the American people," a transition official said, including the possibility of having Cabinet nominees speak publicly before their confirmation hearings take place.

Jorge Neri, a former senior adviser to Biden's campaign, will be deputy outreach director for confirmations.

Others joining the team, which was first reported by Politico, include Andrew Bates, the rapid response director for Biden's campaign, who is taking on a leadership role; Sean Savett, former rapid response director on Pete Buttigieg's campaign; and Saloni Sharma, former deputy communications director for Elizabeth Warren's campaign.

Biden also has a deep understanding of the confirmation process having served in the Senate for decades.

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