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 McConnellFive issues that will define the months until the midterms  Key senators to watch on Democrats' social spending bill Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Schumer mourns death of 'amazing' father Feehery: The honest contrarian 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-CortezRestless progressives eye 2024 Five issues that will define the months until the midterms  GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE (N.Y.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeOverturning Roe would be a disaster for young women of color CBC's pivotal role on infrastructure underscores caucus's growing stature Reforming marijuana laws before the holidays: A three-pronged approach MORE (Calif.), Katie Porter (Calif.), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season 91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill Democrats plow ahead as Manchin yo-yos MORE (Wash.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibRestless progressives eye 2024 GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Tlaib 'fearful' as social spending plan heads to Senate MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Will media portrayals of Rittenhouse lead to another day in court? Evidence for a GOP takeover mounts — Democrats must act fast 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 TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE's nominees like former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHillicon Valley — Blinken unveils new cyber bureau at State Blinken formally announces new State Department cyber bureau Hillicon Valley — TikTok, Snapchat seek to distance themselves from Facebook MORE for the position of secretary of State. Tillerson was fired from his post in 2018 and replaced by now-Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Psaki: Sexism contributes to some criticism of Harris Mnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book 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 BidenBiden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Restless progressives eye 2024 Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony 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.