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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 McConnellTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Senate GOP opens door to earmarks McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTop academics slam Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act NY Times beclowns itself by normalizing court-packing 'to balance the conservative majority' The first Southern state legalizes marijuana — what it means nationally 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-CortezMichigan Democrat says he sought treatment for PTSD after Jan. 6 riot Pelosi's advice for the 'Squad': 'You're not a one-person show' It's time to declare a national climate emergency MORE (N.Y.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeBiden funding decision inflames debate over textbooks for Palestinian refugees 10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump White House delays release of budget plan MORE (Calif.), Katie Porter (Calif.), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalAgainst mounting odds, Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority 10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump MORE (Wash.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan Pelosi's advice for the 'Squad': 'You're not a one-person show' Progressives push Fed to drive funding away from fossil fuel companies MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPelosi's advice for the 'Squad': 'You're not a one-person show' Omar reintroduces bill seeking to cancel rent, mortgage payments during pandemic We must decolonize our global health systems — It's time to repeal the Helms Amendment 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 TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE's nominees like former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonBiden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet With salami-slicing and swarming tactics, China's aggression continues Lawmakers to roll out legislation reorganizing State cyber office 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 PompeoNikki Haley says if Trump runs for president in 2024 then she won't Blinken: China 'didn't do what it needed to do' in early stages of pandemic Biden loves the Georgia boycott — So why won't he boycott the Beijing Olympic games? 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 BidenTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Biden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan The business case for child care reform 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.