GOP Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri withheld Kiran Ahuja’s nomination as head of the Federal Personnel Agency “because of its history of encouraging radical critical race theorists,” said Holly spokeswoman Kelly Ford.
“These associations deserve real scrutiny, especially in light of Ms. Ahuja’s nomination for a role that will allow her to resume race-based training sessions across the federal government,” Ford said in a statement.
Withholding Ahuja’s nomination is only the last point of a broader conservative attempt to withdraw the critical theory of race, which recognizes that systemic racism is part of American society and evokes beliefs that allow it to thrive.
As head of the Office of Personnel Management, Ahuja will play a critical role in managing Biden̵
“Kiran Ahuja is a qualified, experienced and dedicated civil servant who we look forward to leading the Human Resources Office in its work to protect labor safety, empower federal officials and build a federal workforce that resembles America.” , a White House spokesman told CNN.
Individual senators have the opportunity to place so-called detentions on Senate-approved nominations, leading to delays in receiving votes.
While Democrats hoped Ahuja could be confirmed quickly, she will now join Biden’s long list of candidates pending Senate votes, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will have to take further procedural steps to accelerate your nomination.
Many sources told CNN that while the process was a bit slow, they did not believe Ahuja’s nomination was in jeopardy.
During her confirmation hearing in April, Hawley had grilled Ahuja because of her stance on critical racial theory and diversity training. “The last administration stopped training in diversity, which contained elements of what is sometimes called critical race theory. Do you agree with this decision of the previous administration or not?” Hawley asked.
While Ahuja said she did not know the specifics of the trainings cited, she noted that the trainings she was familiar with “really promote the understanding of people from all walks of life.”
Hawley also accused Ahuja of promoting the work of Dr. Ibram Candy, a professor and anti-racist activist, including endorsing an article claiming that former President Donald Trump’s 2016 election was “an example of racist progress.”
Ahuja admitted that she had worked with Candy and called him a leader of thought, but said she did not remember the specific article he was referring to, and she herself had not made such comments about the election.