Progressive lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) remains skeptical over former Vice President Joe Biden’s current cabinet picks, telling reporters Wednesday that the overall agenda remains “a little hazy.”
“I think it’d be great to see a more cohesive vision across the entire Cabinet. You have an individual appointment here, an individual appointment there,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday, according to Politico.
“We can wrestle about whether they are bold enough or ambitious enough, especially given the uncertainty and what kind of Senate we’re going to have,” she continued, noting that the choices leave her with questions.
“I think one of the things I’m looking for, when I see all of these picks together is: What is the agenda? What is the overall vision going to be? I think that’s a little hazy,” the far-left “Squad” member said, adding that she is “trying to read into it” to find the “overall message” in the cabinet.
“And what is the agenda for it, because we have a person who has a more conservative history, that’s one thing, but what is the mission that they are being given in their individual agency, whether it’s Transportation, Defense, OMB, etc.? What is the mandate here?” she asked.
“And, yeah, I just think that’s something that we’re looking to see is, it’s something that I hope will be pushed,” she added.
Former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod has praised Biden’s picks, contending that the former vice president is following through with creating “the most diverse cabinet in history”:
“Look, Biden is following through on the pledge that he made as a candidate. He promised the most diverse cabinet in history — he’s delivering that,” he said during a November appearance on CNN Newsroom before listing examples:
Janet Yellen, the first [female] treasury secretary of the United States in the history of the republic. You know, Avril Haines over as the DNI, that’s historic as well. But I think we shouldn’t lose in Mayorkas, the new DHS secretary, we should point out, is a Cuban-American immigrant, also historic and symbolically important. But we shouldn’t lose in the historic nature of these picks the fact that as a group they’re very coherent, they reflect Biden’s governing philosophy, and they are manifestly experienced and competent. And in that sense, distinct from some of the appointments that we’ve seen under the current administration.
Ocasio-Cortez predicted in September that the far-left would be able to push Biden in a “more progressive direction” across various policy issues.
“There are some areas where we just fundamentally disagree, but that’s okay. I think it’s important to acknowledge that we can have, in some cases, very large disagreements — it doesn’t mean that we’re trying to undermine the party or undermine each other,” she said, adding that it “means that we’re trying to do what’s best for people in the country.”
In late-October, just days before the presidential election, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) echoed those same sentiments in a virtual meeting with the far-left members of the “Squad.”
“But we understand that electing Biden is not the end-all. It is the beginning,” the Vermont senator said, stressing that progressives are “not giving up” on their agenda.
Democrats are poised to hold the slimmest Democratic Party majority in the House in over a century following Biden reportedly selecting Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).