Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden has selected Bruce Reed as his deputy chief of staff — much to the chagrin of progressive Democrats.
Reed is a longtime aide to Biden and was tapped along with a handful of others to senior posts in a likely Biden administration on Tuesday.
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris continue to assemble a White House senior staff composed of diverse, experienced, and talented individuals who are day-one ready to deliver results for working families.https://t.co/yOaRHCAuHA
— Biden-Harris Presidential Transition (@Transition46) December 22, 2020
The progressive Justice Democrats and the “squad” of far-left congresswomen — including Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — started a petition last month in anticipation of Reed’s appointment, calling for Biden to choose someone else.
“Putting someone in the administration 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,” read the petition, titled “Keep Deficit Hawk Bruce Reed out of the Biden administration.”
“Rejecting Reed will be a major test for the soul of the Biden presidency,” it said.
The petition cited Reed’s role in the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission during President Barack Obama’s first term, a panel that proposed enacting “massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare, including raising the retirement age.”
“Joe Biden must not repeat Obama’s mistake,” the petition read.
“We need our government to spend money now — to ensure vaccines are distributed, to keep people in their homes, to prevent small businesses from closing permanently, and to make sure Americans can stay home until the vaccine arrives!”
The petition had just over 35,000 signatures toward its goal of 51,200 as of Tuesday morning.
The so-called squad — Omar, Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib along with Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and new member Rep.-elect Cori Bush of Missouri — all signed and sponsored it.
“Bruce Reed helped develop the ’94 Crime Bill, pushed broken windows policing & cuts to Social Security & Medicaid,” Bush said in a tweet Nov. 24.
“We want an administration that prioritizes programs that protect ALL of us. Mr. Reed is not someone our communities trust.”
“If the Biden administration is serious about protecting Medicare and Social Security, they must not appoint one of the biggest champions to lead their budget agency,” Omar tweeted that same day.
The Young Turks, a far-left news and opinion network, has criticized Reed for his alleged ties to President Donald Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos.
However, Biden’s transition team praised Reed and the other appointments Tuesday.
“These experienced individuals are joining my administration to carry out policies that will put our nation on a path to building back better than ever before,” Biden said in a statement.
“They are respected leaders whose values and priorities align with my own and who will dutifully execute their roles to serve the American people.”
His choice for vice president, Kamala Harris, added, “Our country is grappling with a pandemic, an economic crisis, a long-overdue reckoning on racial injustice, and a climate crisis. To meet these challenges, we need a team that reflects the very best of our nation.
“These public servants have the knowledge and experience to help us deliver on our commitment to build our country back better.”
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