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Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts

Progressive Democrats on Friday called on Senate leadership to oppose the confirmation of any nominee to an executive branch position who is a lobbyist or former lobbyist for any corporate client or who is a C-suite officer for a private corporation. 

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellImmigration, executive action top Biden preview of first 100 days Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight McConnell pushed Trump to nominate Barrett on the night of Ginsburg's death: report MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.), 13 progressive members of Congress asked that they oppose these nominees for this administration “or any future administration.” 

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far New Consensus co-founder discusses proposal for Biden to use Fed to sidestep Congress MORE (N.Y.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Top contender for Biden Defense chief would be historic pick Overnight Defense: 5 US service members killed in international peacekeeping helicopter crash in Egypt | Progressives warn Biden against Defense nominee with contractor ties | Trump executive order to ban investment in Chinese military-linked companies MORE (Calif.), Katie Porter (Calif.), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Trump, attorneys step up efforts to reverse election's outcome MORE (Wash.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyGOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' Pelosi faces caucus divisions in Biden era Record number of Black women elected to Congress in 2020 MORE (Mass.), among others, signed on to the letter.

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“Ending the practice of filling cabinet and sub-cabinet posts with current or former corporate officers and lobbyists is not to offer a commentary on each individual person’s character. It is to make a statement of principle,” they wrote. 

The group noted that Schumer opposed President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE's nominees like former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonBiden's State Department picks are a diplomatic slam dunk President Trump: To know him is to 'No' him Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts MORE for the position of secretary of State. Tillerson was fired from his post in 2018 and replaced by now-Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBiden's State Department picks are a diplomatic slam dunk Kissinger tells Biden to go easy on China Saudi-Israeli diplomacy progresses amid looming Middle East challenges MORE

They said that an officer or lobbyist of a major bank should similarly not be working on financial policy in a Democratic administration.

The letter was endorsed by dozens of progressive organizations, including Public Citizen, Indivisible, Center for International Policy, Our Revolution, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Demand Progress and Greenpeace USA, as well as by Democrat Jamaal Bowman, who is running for Congress in New York. 

Eight progressive groups wrote a letter to Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Biden says staff has spoken with Fauci: 'He's been very, very helpful' MORE in April asking him to vow not to appoint any “current or former Wall Street executives or corporate lobbyists, or people affiliated with the fossil fuel, health insurance or private prison corporations” to his transition team, Cabinet or as his top aides.

That letter has since been criticized by Black and Latino lobbyists, who said a ban of that sort would end up shutting out minorities and could make the administration less diverse if Democrats win back the White House.