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Ocasio-Cortez calls on Senate to reject Rahm Emanuel as Japan ambassador

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged the Senate to vote down President Biden’s nomination of Rahm Emanuel to serve as U.S. ambassador to Japan, citing his handling of the police killing of Laquan McDonald as mayor of Chicago.

“This nomination is deeply shameful,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement, adding that Emanuel’s efforts to suppress video of the McDonald shooting “should be flatly disqualifying for any position of public trust, let alone representing the United States as an ambassador.”

“That the Biden administration seeks to reward Emanuel with an ambassadorship is an embarrassment and betrayal of the values we seek to uphold both within our nation and around the world,” the congresswoman said. “I urge the Senate to vote NO on his confirmation.”

Though as a member of the House she does not have a vote in the confirmation process, Ocasio-Cortez’s fiery criticism of the Emanuel nomination is a preview of the likely fight to come over Biden’s pick to represent the U.S. in Tokyo. Progressives have long been opposed to Emanuel having a role in the Biden administration, specifically citing his actions after the McDonald shooting.

He further alienated progressives early in the Biden administration with his calls for a more moderate agenda and compromise with Republicans.

Prior to his two terms as mayor, Emanuel served as a member of the House, where he led Democrats to the majority in 2006 for the first time in roughly a decade.

Democratic leaders like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.), a strong Biden ally, have voiced support for Emanuel’s nomination, which was announced in mid-August.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Japan Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi
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