Ocasio-Cortez rips presence of lobbyists at orientation event

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence The Hill Interview: Jerry Brown on climate disasters, COVID-19 and Biden's 'Rooseveltian moment' MORE (D-N.Y.) is criticizing the presence of lobbyists at a traditional bipartisan orientation program for newly elected congressional lawmakers.

"Our 'bipartisan' Congressional orientation is cohosted by a corporate lobbyist group. Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn’t told to us in advance," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Thursday. "Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where‘s labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?"

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Ocasio-Cortez is in Cambridge, Mass., for the Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress. The program, which started in 1972, is hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics in collaboration with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Congressional Institute.

Andrew Schwartz, chief communications officer at CSIS, told The Hill the agenda had been sent out to participants on Nov. 8, two days after Election Day.

Lobbyists did participate in the program, according to the agenda.

Dan Meyer, the president of the Duberstein Group, Inc., a lobbying firm, spoke on a panel entitled, “White House Congressional Relations: How to Advocate for Your Priorities” on Wednesday alongside the firm’s vice president, Anne Wall.

Joining them on the panel were CVS Health’s vice president of federal affairs, Amy Rosenbaum, who is a former aide to former President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Trump is betting big on the suburbs, but his strategy is failing 'bigly' Trump orders flags at half-staff to honor 'trailblazer' Ginsburg MORE (D-Calif.), as well as Oracle’s vice president for government affairs, Josh Pitcock, a former aide to Vice President Pence.

Duberstein Group, CVS and Oracle did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.

The agenda also included Gary CohnGary David CohnGary Cohn: 'I haven't made up my mind' on vote for president in November Kushner says 'Alice in Wonderland' describes Trump presidency: Woodward book Former national economic council director: I agree with 50 percent of House Democrats' HEROES Act MORE, former president of Goldman Sachs and former director of the National Economic Council.

Cohn spoke on a panel with Jason FurmanJason FurmanOn The Money: Five things to know about the August jobs report Dates — and developments — to watch as we enter the home stretch In surprise, unemployment rate falls, economy adds jobs MORE, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, Karen Dynan, former assistant secretary for economic policy and chief economist at the Treasury Department and Michael Strain, director of economic policy studies and resident scholar at AEI, according to the agenda obtained by The Hill.

“To state the obvious, Gary left here almost two years ago and does not speak for the firm,” a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs told the Hill.

A discussion with business leaders was held Wednesday morning and included General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. 

General Motors and Johnson & Johnson did not immediately return requests for comment from The Hill. Boeing declined to comment.