Far-left groups pressure Biden to pad his Cabinet with Reps. Tlaib, Jayapal

Two powerful left-wing organizations are calling on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to nominate Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) to his Cabinet along with other socialist-leaning lawmakers.

The groups, Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement, announced their choices for a “Climate mandate Cabinet,” calling for Tlaib to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development while naming Jayapal the secretary of Health and Human Services.

The groups also would like to see self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders as the Labor Department chief, Sen. Elizabeth Warren to lead the Treasury Department, and Rep. Barbara Lee to become secretary of state, Fox Business Network reported.

Biden has not officially been declared the president-elect. Rather, several media outlets including Fox News have deemed him so, even as President Donald Trump’s campaign has launched a series of legal actions challenging alleged voter irregularities in several states.

State electors meet Dec. 14 to cast their votes for president.

That said, Biden has not begun the process of naming a Cabinet, something that typically happens within a month of winning the election. But he has assembled a transition team which is reportedly in the process of vetting and considering potential Cabinet picks.

In the meantime, left-wing groups that claim they and their supporters were responsible for Biden’s win have stepped up demands that top progressives be included in the new administration.

But that could prove problematic for Biden.

Already, leading Senate Republicans have said Biden may have problems getting more extreme leftist picks confirmed, should the GOP retain control of the chamber.

“I think it would be a challenge,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), said of a Sanders pick for Labor secretary. “We want businesses to be able to thrive. We recognize the need for Labor to be a part of those discussions.”

“Bernie’s a friend, but most certainly I think he’s going to be significantly different in his opinion about what a Labor secretary should do than a lot of the members in the United States Senate think is appropriate,” Rounds added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a staunch ally of President Trump, said last week that Biden “deserves a Cabinet” and that he would work to ensure that he has one.

“When it comes to finding common ground, I will do that. The vice president deserves a Cabinet. I will give him my input about who I could vote for as secretary of state, attorney general,” he said.

However, he added: “I recognize that he won, he deserves a Cabinet. There may be some people that I just can’t vote for because I think they’re unqualified or too extreme.”

He also said at the time that he was “not conceding he’s going to win” the election, which remains up in the air as the Trump campaign continues filing legal challenges. And he said he would push back against “radical” Democrat policies like “the Green New Deal.”

Biden’s transition team, which is being led by former Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), is also considering California Democratic Rep. Karen Bass as a Housing and Urban Development contender; former New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to lead Health and Human Services; Janet Yellen, former head of the Federal Reserve, to lead Treasury; and Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, to become secretary of state.

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Jon Dougherty

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