House

Ocasio-Cortez: Biden agenda ‘a little hazy’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday said that she thinks President-elect Joe Biden’s White House agenda is “a little hazy” based on his Cabinet selections.

The New York progressive told reporters at the Capitol that Biden’s incoming Cabinet needs “a more cohesive vision.”

“You have an individual appointment here, an individual appointment there,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We can wrestle about whether they are bold enough or ambitious enough, especially given the uncertainty and what kind of Senate we’re going to have.”

“But aside from that, I think one of the things I’m looking for, when I see all of these picks put together is: What is the agenda? What is this overall vision going to be? And to me, I think that’s a little hazy,” she added.

Ocasio-Cortez told the reporters that she’s trying to understand “the overall message” from Biden’s team “in this entire Cabinet put together.”

“We have a person who has a more conservative history, that’s one thing, but what is the mission that they are being given in their individual agency, whether it’s Transportation, Defense, OMB [Office of Management and Budget], etc.?” she asked. “What is the mandate here?”

“I just think that’s something that we’re looking to see is — it’s something that I hope will be pushed,” she added. 

The progressive firebrand’s comments come as Biden, who has vowed to have the “most diverse Cabinet” in American history, has announced his nominees for a number of top administration positions.

Some picks, including his choice for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — and for director of the Office of Management and Budget — CEO of Center for American Progress Neera Tanden — have received pushback from Republicans.

Biden’s nominee to lead the Pentagon — retired Gen. Lloyd Austin — has received bipartisan criticism as a recently retired military officer, which means he will require approval from Congress to have the position less than seven years since retiring from the military in addition to the standard Senate confirmation.

“Amid the crises facing the country, President-Elect Biden is building a team of qualified and competent leaders to get things back on track and advance his bold agenda to build back better,” Biden transition spokesman Sean Savett said in a statement to The Hill on Thursday.

“Each of these nominees are forward-thinking, crisis-tested and experienced, and they are ready to quickly use the levers of government to make meaningful differences in the lives of Americans and help govern on day one,” Savett added.

–Updated at 1:42 p.m.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez AOC Biden cabinet Biden nominees Biden transition Joe Biden Lloyd Austin Neera Tanden Xavier Becerra
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