Members of the progressive “Squad” are demanding that presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden steer clear of nominating Bruce Reed as head of the White House budget office.
They warn Mr. Reed is too much of a “deficit hawk” and that choosing him would show that the former vice president failed to learn from the missteps of the Obama years.
Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota have signed onto a petition, circulated by the Justice Democrats, that says the prospect of Mr. Reed being nominated as director of the Office of Management and Budget is “extremely concerning” because he is a “career deficit hawk.”
“Putting someone 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,” the petition reads. “Rejecting Reed will be a major test for the soul of the Biden presidency.”
Their beef with Mr. Reed centers on the role he played as executive director of President Obama’s national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform.
Also, known as the Simpson-Bowles commission, the bipartisan group recommended that Congress reduce deficits through a combination of new taxes and spending cuts.
The recommendations scored headlines but ultimately were shelved as both parties continued to spend.
Incoming Democratic Reps. Jamaal Bowman of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri are also backing the petition, according to Axios.
Mr. Biden’s picks to fill out his cabinet have so far been fairly well-received, but far-left lawmakers and activists remained concerned that Mr. Biden will not be a warrior for their causes.
“Joe Biden must not repeat Obama’s mistake,” the petition reads. “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!”