AOC, Ilhan Omar petitioning to block Biden’s former chief of staff

Bruce Reed, the potential pick for Office of Management and Budget, has been called a 'deficit hawk'

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House Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are petitioning against President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Bruce Reed as his administration’s Office of Management and Budget.

Reed, the former chief of staff to Biden — who served as Barack Obama’s vice president — is being called by the progressive congresswomen as a “deficit hawk.”

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Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Omar (D-Minn.) and fellow Squad member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) are pressuring Biden’s soon-to-be administration to nominate Cabinet candidates in their favor, Axios reports.

The Squad, an assembly of female progressive representatives, are backed by the Justice Democrats, a left-wing PAC that secures candidates who share their socialistic values. Candidates includes, Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Pramila Jayapal of Washington State, Ro Khanna of California, and Raúl Grijalva of Arizona.

As noted in the Axios reports, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib are the first sitting members of Congress to sign a petition objecting to Reed’s potential nomination.

“Rejecting Reed will be a major test for the soul of the Biden presidency,” it says, demanding that OMB “be staffed with people who will prioritize working people, not Wall Street deficit scaremongers.” The petition was launched by Justice Democrats.

Omar told Axios she’s “proud to join Justice Democrats and our progressive coalition in saying no to deficit hawks.”

“If the Biden administration is serious about protecting Medicare and Social Security, they must not appoint one of the biggest champions of cuts to lead their budget agency,” she said.

The congresswomen are not alone in wanting Reed to be denied the position.

Conservative magazine Washington Examiner reported that Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works, an organization that advocates the expansion of entitlements like Social Security, wants Biden to reconsider his potential offer to Reed.

“Joe Biden ran for President on a promise to protect and expand Social Security. Seniors listened, and delivered his margin of victory in key states like Arizona and Michigan,” Lawson said, via Common Dreams. “Appointing Bruce Reed to head the Office of Management and Budget would betray that promise. Reed was executive director of the Bowles-Simpson commission, which proposed massive cuts to Social Security, including raising the retirement age. He has a decades-long obsession with austerity, at a time when we need massive government spending to bring us out of the worst national crisis since the Great Depression.

“Biden must keep his promises to seniors by keeping Reed far away from the White House,” Lawson continues. 

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Reed is a Princeton graduate who once wrote for Tennessee Democratic Sen. Al Gore as a speechwriter. Following his success, Reed founded DLC magazine before being appointed as President Bill Clinton’s deputy campaign manager for 1992, the Examiner reported.

Reed was promoted within the Clinton administration as the then-president’s chief domestic policy adviser, where he oversaw the now infamous 1994 crime bill, which Biden voted for during his tenure as a Democratic senator of his home state.

Progressive liberals like Ocasio-Cortez and Omar have called the 1994 crime bill racist and one-sided.

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