A progressive Democrat organization has slammed Joe Biden for picking corporate executives to join his potential cabinet. The Justice Democrats organization voiced out its dissatisfaction over the Democratic nominee’s “corporate-friendly” choices for the White House. Justice Democrats Executive Director Alexandra Rojas said in a Nov. 18 statement: “A Biden administration dominated by corporate-friendly insiders … will not help usher in the most progressive Democratic administration in generations.”
Rojas also noted that progressives “make up nearly half of the Democratic Party’s seats in the House of Representatives” and “should receive adequate representation” when Biden assumes the presidency. She warned that “if Joe Biden continues making corporate-friendly appointments to his White House, he will risk quickly fracturing the hard-earned goodwill his team built with progressives to defeat Donald Trump.”
The statement by the progressive faction came after Biden appointed Steve Ricchetti and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) to cabinet advisory positions.
Rojas’s statement also explained why Ricchetti and Richmond were unsuitable cabinet choices for the former vice president. Ricchetti, who served as chief of staff during Biden’s vice presidential stint, has represented groups “vociferously opposed to Medicare for All and the public manufacturing of prescription drugs” in his capacity as a former lobbyist for pharmaceutical firms.
Meanwhile, Richmond “is one of the top Democratic recipients of fossil fuel money,” having obtained $92,000 from oil and gas corporate political action committees in 2020 alone. The legislator from Louisiana has been aggressively criticized by his own constituents for his failure to act on their concerns around industry regulations and climate change. Richmond was also described as not having committed to supporting a Green New Deal, which fellow Democrat lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is pushing for.
In addition, the former vice president also considered former Obama-era Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz for a climate-related post, which various climate change groups have opposed. A group of more than 70 environmental and progressive organizations wrote an open letter to Biden dissuading him from nominating Moniz to any cabinet position. The open letter described Moniz as “a cheerleader for ‘clean’ coal, the export of liquefied natural gas and the untenable expansion of fossil gas” and “an unrepentant founding father of the fracking industry.” (Related: A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Hillary Clinton, who’s vying for Secretary of Defense.)
Aside from Biden’s “corporate-friendly” appointments, his choice of Wall Street executives as cabinet members also gained him the ire of progressive Democrats. Breitbart reported Nov. 11 that the former vice president named a number of executives connected to major banks who donated to his campaign. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal named some of these choices.
However, these appointments did not sit well with progressive lawmakers. POLITICO reported in October that Democrat legislators in the lower house, including Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), signed a letter arguing that a Biden administration should not have any positions handled by C-suite level corporate executives or corporate lobbyists.
The representatives wrote: “One of the most important lessons of the Trump administration is the need to stop putting corporate officers and lobbyists in charge of our government.” They added that elected leaders “should stop trying to make unsupportable distinctions between which corporate affiliations are acceptable for government service and which are not.”
Democrats would look “hypocritical” if they appointed corporate-friendly officials after criticizing appointees of President Donald Trump for their corporate links, the letter’s authors argued.
The statement by Rojas also called on Biden to “make major reforms” to the “cruel” health care system currently in place in the post-COVID era. However, she acknowledged that such a move requires “standing up to private power.” In addition, it also called on the Democratic presidential nominee to create an Office of Climate Mobilization on his first day. Progressives with “records standing up to the fossil fuel industry” should be appointed in this new office, the statement added. (Related: Project Veritas exposes radical Democratic Party affiliate head calling for “violent political revolution”.)
While Biden’s Wall Street backers appear to be seeking a return of investment with finance executives being appointed, his progressive base wants him to stick to the party line. The question now is this: Which side will Biden accede to?
Whether or not he will draw the line with both his corporate and progressive support base is irrelevant, as the former vice president unfortunately does not have a firm stance on things. No wonder the Chinese Communist Party backed him for president as he was, in their own words, “smoother to deal with.”
Find out more about the Democratic presidential nominee’s plans for his cabinet at JoeBiden.news.