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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 McConnellSenate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump to lift Sudan terror sponsor designation Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts The 2016 and 2020 Senate votes are about the same thing: constitutionalist judges 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-CortezOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA may violate courts with new rule extending life of unlined coal ash ponds | Trump reverses course, approving assistance for California wildfires | Climate change, national security among topics for final Trump-Biden debate Biden distances himself from Green New Deal during town hall Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts MORE (N.Y.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeOcasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Democrats accuse tech companies of deceitful tactics in campaign against Calif. ballot measure Congress fiddles while the US burns, floods, and ails MORE (Calif.), Katie Porter (Calif.), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalOcasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Poll shows Biden leading Trump, tight House race in key Nebraska district MORE (Wash.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Kamala Harris's facial expressions during debate go viral MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPerdue's rival raises nearly M after senator mispronounces Kamala Harris's name Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair 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 TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE's nominees like former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonOcasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Gary Cohn: 'I haven't made up my mind' on vote for president in November Kushner says 'Alice in Wonderland' describes Trump presidency: Woodward book 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 PompeoPompeo: 'Dangerous' for Twitter to take 'non-viewpoint-neutral' stance Pompeo warns any arms sales to Iran will result in sanctions as embargo expires Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members 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 BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast 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.