Squad demands veto over Joe Biden’s pick for crucial budget role saying his former chief of staff Bruce Reed can’t take charge of OMB
- The lawmakers have signed a petition organized by Justice Democrats
- Cites Reed’s role as top staffer on Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction commission
- He also served as a Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president
- Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib all signed on
Members of the ‘squad’ – who don’t have a formal say in either cabinet selections or White House staff – are weighing in with a demand that President-elect Biden not appoint Bruce Reed as head of the White House budget office.
The lawmakers have signed onto a petition calling talk of Reed’s potential selection ‘concerning.’ Reed previously served as Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president, and was the top staffer on the Bowles-Simpson commission on deficit reduction.
That has the left-wing squad members worried.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is among the ‘squad’ members urging President-elect Joe Biden not to name Bruce Reed to head the Office of Management and Budget
‘OMB sets the President’s budgetary agenda. Putting someone who will prioritize paying down the deficit ahead of all other concerns in charge is a recipe for cutting our earned benefits and turning the COVID recession into a depression. Rejecting Reed will be a major test for the soul of the Biden presidency,’ says the petition, which was organized by Justice Democrats, who helped put Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other squad members in office.
It also sets up the issue as a battle test – even though Biden himself has called called dealing with the virus a top priority and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the goal is to ‘crush’ it with a $3 trillion package.
‘Putting someone who will prioritize paying down the deficit ahead of all other concerns in charge is a recipe for cutting our earned benefits and turning the COVID recession into a depression. Rejecting Reed will be a major test for the soul of the Biden presidency,’ they write.
Then-U.S. President Barack Obama (C) eats a hamburger and fries with members of his staff, at the Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill in Washington, August 3, 2011. With Obama are (L-R) Director of Legislative Affairs Rob Nabors and Chief of Staff of the Vice President, Bruce Reed. Squad members don’t want Reed to get nominated to run the Office of Management and Budget
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) also signed the petition
Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) also raised suspicions about Biden’s selection of Antony Blinken as the nation’s top diplomat, drawing accusations of anti-Semitism
President-elect Joe Biden approaches the media as he departs from his transition headquarters in the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 24, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A petition targets Bruce Reed following reports he is in the running to run the White House budget office
Others signing on are Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Axios reported, making it one of the most concerted public efforts against a Biden hire.
Reed came from the centrist Democratic Leadership Commission and served in the Clinton administration, before joining the deficit commission and signing on with Biden.
Oddly, the report says some squad members are ‘suspicious’ of people being rumored for jobs, but also satisfied with the major national security announcements revealed to date. They include former Secretary of State John Kerry, who brings weight and experience to the job of climate advisor; former Fed chair Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary; Alejandro Mayorkas as the first immigrant and Hispanic to head Homeland Security; and and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, an Obama administration Africa expert, as representative to the UN.
Some Republicans called Tlaib anti-Semitic after she weighed in on Twitter against Antony Blinken, Biden’s pick to be secretary of state, responding to a comment calling him a ‘solid choice.’
”So long as he doesn’t suppress my First Amendment right to speak out against Netanyahu’s racist and inhumane policies. The Palestinian people deserve equality and justice,’ she tweeted.
Blinken is jewish, and on Tuesday told the story of his father in law’s dramatic struggle and being freed by U.S. troops after being imprisoned and forced to do work at the Auschwitz death camp.
Bowles-Simpson was led by Democrat Erksine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, and pushed to slash debt, cut spending, and eliminate tax breaks as well as cut some taxes. Justice Democrats called out its proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare, something Biden has vowed to protect. During the campaign he blasted a Trump proposal to cut the payroll tax, saying it would starve the Social Security Trust Fund.
‘Biden must not repeat Obama’s mistake,’ they wrote.
The national debt has skyrocketed to $27 trillion, although Republicans and Democrats pushed out trillions to help prop up the U.S. economy when it took a dive this year due to the coronavirus.