Ocasio-Cortez rips presence of lobbyists at orientation event

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezIncoming Dem challenges party to make 'lasting, transformative change' Wind and solar clash with energy reality Progressive and conservative Dems could provide difficulties for Pelosi, says polling editor 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?"

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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi, Dem rebels near deal on term limits for party leaders Pelosi divides Democrats with term-limit proposal Oval Office clash ups chances of shutdown 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 CohnOcasio-Cortez rips presence of lobbyists at orientation event Incoming Dem lawmaker fires back at Trump's former economic adviser: ‘No Gary, YOU don't know what's coming’ Ocasio-Cortez criticizes congressional orientation program for featuring CEOs over labor leaders MORE, former president of Goldman Sachs and former director of the National Economic Council.

Cohn spoke on a panel with Jason FurmanJason FurmanOcasio-Cortez rips presence of lobbyists at orientation event On The Money: Economy adds 250K jobs in October | Trump confident on trade deal with China | Trump to reimpose all Iran nuke sanctions | 8 nations to get oil waivers | SEC subpoenaed Tesla over Model 3 production Economy adds 250K jobs in October 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.