Kiran Ahuja, President Joe Biden's nominee for head of the Office of Personnel Management, will have her nomination debated on the Senate floor after GOP senators expressed concerns over her past comments on critical race theory and abortion. Ahuja previously hosted racial justice author Ibram X. Kendi and wrote blog posts about the "white supremacist nature" of the United States in 2020.
Leading the dissenting group is Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who is concerned over the indoctrination of federal employees with critical race theory. "Beyond just rescinding the Trump administration’s ban on divisive critical race theory trainings, Joe Biden wants to make them a top priority and has selected the CEO of a corporate-funded leftist nonprofit to lead the charge," Hawley said in a statement to Fox News.
"In the course of her career, Kiran Ahuja has embraced and promoted radical racial theorists as 'thought leaders.' I’m highly concerned about this politicization of the federal government and cannot stand by as the Biden administration attempts to use taxpayer dollars to divide Americans based on race," he added.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced Ahuja’s nomination in April in a completely partisan vote. Among the nay voters was Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) who said he voted against the nomination due to concerns about her "previous support of critical race theory," as well as her pro-abortion stance, amid a push from progressives to repeal the Hyde Amendment which bans federal funding for abortion services.
"Kiran Ahuja is a qualified, experienced, and dedicated public servant who we are looking forward to leading the Office of Personnel Management in its work protecting the safety of the workforce, empowering federal employees, and building a federal workforce that looks like America," deputy White House Press Secretary Chris Meagher told the Washington Post.
If confirmed, Ahuja would be responsible for human resources initiatives and personnel policy for federal employees. Biden reinstated diversity and racial sensitivity training in an executive order in January, reversing a Trump-era policy which banned critical race theory, which includes class-based guilt lesson on "white privilege," and other courses labelled "divisive."
Ahuja wrote many blog posts in 2020 where she hoped that Black Lives Matter protests would force Americans to "finally coming to terms with our racist history as a country, and addressing it head-on." She has also called for action to free black, indigenous, gay and transgender Americans from the "daily trials of white supremacy."
A debate on Ahuja's nomination will be held on the Senate floor, followed by a vote by the full Senate.