Politics

Ilhan Omar Worries Biden Cabinet Leaving Progressives Behind

Representative Ilhan Omar argued on Monday that progressives do not have a big enough seat at the table within Biden's cabinet.

Representative Ilhan Omar sent mixed messages Monday about Joe Biden’s cabinet picks, arguing that progressives do not have a big enough seat at the table within a prospective Biden cabinet, while also expressing approval at the picks.

The far-left Minnesota representative is a member of the progressive “squad,” which includes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley.

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Appearing on CNN with Ana Cabrera on Monday, Carbrera asked Omar whether Biden was delivering on his promise of building the “most diverse cabinet in history.”

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“As President-elect Biden says, keep the faith, we continue to keep the faith,” Omar replied, not answering the question.

Omar, the newly re-elected head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus added that they are “currently circulating a petition asking [Biden’s team] to be bolder as they begin to think about what they will produce on behalf of the American people for those first 100 days.”

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The petition from progressives asks the Biden administration to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, wipe out student loan debt, protect illegal immigrants, and declare climate change to be a “national emergency,” among other demands.

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Biden Sticking It To Progressives?

Petitions may be all the progressive wing now have as ammo under a Biden administration.

Senators Sanders and Warren, two big progressives, were tipped to be part of Biden’s cabinet, but the failure of Democrats in the Congressional elections apparently dashed those hopes.

As a result, Carbrera noted that Sanders had said progressives did not have a big enough seat at the table in Biden’s cabinet, an assessment that Omar told Carbrera she agreed with.

“This is, you know, what we have been saying and asking for,” Omar said.

“We worked diligently in trying to make sure that the people understood that it was important for us to get rid of Trump, but to have someone who was going to be partner with us in governing for progress in our country, and we continue to be hopeful in having that partnership as we have governed on behalf of our country.”

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Omar: “We Will Continue To Push”

Prior to the election, Omar had said that progressives were all ready to fill Biden’s cabinet, and would “push him to act accordingly” on issues like climate change and banning fracking.

“All of the cabinet positions should be filled by progressive Democrats,” Omar believed.

But now, the cabinet is full of “neoliberals” (The enemy of progressives, according to left-wing Twitter) and former officials from the Obama administration.

So far Biden has announced:

  • John Kerry as global warming czar
  • Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary
  • Neera Tanden as Budget Director
  • Susan Rice as domestic policy guru
  • Jen Psaki as Press Secretary

Biden’s transition team also features Big Tech executives from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Cardera asked Omar if she was unhappy with any of Biden’s picks so far. “You know, holistically, I am not,” Omar continued.

“I think that they have been quite diligent in putting together a really well-thought-out transition team, and we continue to see what comes out of the next couple of weeks as they solidify that list, and we will continue to push and make sure that our asks are clear and concise,” she added.

To follow the ongoing feud between progressives and neoliberals, check out journalist Glenn Greenwald’s Twitter timeline.

This piece originally appeared in ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

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