Posts tagged with "AOC"

Progressives led by AOC call for Biden to replace Fed Chair Powell

September 1, 2021

Progressive Democrats, including New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are calling on President Joe Biden to give the Federal Reserve a sweeping makeover by replacing Jerome Powell as chairman, CNN reports.

“We urge President Biden to reimagine a Federal Reserve focused on eliminating climate risk and advancing racial and economic justice,” the lawmakers said in a statement released on Tuesday morning, August 31.

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, the statement was issued Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Mondaire Jones of New York, and Chuy Garcia of Illinois—all members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Powell, a Republican and former investment banker, was nominated to lead the powerful Federal Reserve by former President Donald Trump in 2017, who later sharply criticized his handpicked chairman.

Powell’s term as chair expires in February, and the White House has not said whether he will be reappointed.

According to CNN, under Powell, the Fed wasted little time responding forcefully to the economic fallout from the pandemic in March 2020. Economists have credited the Fed’s historic actions with helping to prevent a full-blown depression and financial crisis in the United States.

The Fed is tasked by Congress to maximize the number of American jobs while keeping inflation low. Although the Democrats in the statement credited the Powell-led Fed with making changes to how it approaches its goal of full employment, they voiced concern over his track record on the climate crisis and regulation.

“Under his leadership, the Federal Reserve has taken very little action to mitigate the risk climate change poses to our financial system,” the lawmakers said in the statement.

However, the Fed did join an international network of global financial regulators focused on climate change in late 2020. In June, Powell warned that the climate crisis poses “profound challenges for the global economy and certainly the financial system.”

The AOC-led statement also criticized the Fed for “weakening” financial regulations enacted after the Great Recession, including capital and liquidity requirements, stress tests and the Volcker Rule. Powell has previously disputed the argument that the Fed has weakened regulations.

The Fed chair is appointed by the president. The term lasts four years. Looking for continuity, former Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama reappointed Fed chairs that were appointed by previous presidents, both of whom were Republicans. But Trump did not reappoint Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who was appointed by Obama.

A White House official told CNN on Tuesday that when it comes to appointing Fed officials, Biden “will appoint the candidates who[m] he thinks will be the most effective in implementing monetary policy.”

The Federal Reserve declined to comment.

Research contact: @CNN

AOC not ruling out Senate challenge against Chuck Schumer in 2022

August 18, 2021

Representative. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-14th District, New York) is not ruling out challenging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York)— a 22-year Senate vet and stalwart member of the “moderate” wing of the Democratic Party — in a primary next year, reports the New York Post.

When the progressive “Democratic socialist,” who represents the Bronx and Queens, was asked by CNN’s Dana Bash if she is considering a campaign against her fellow New Yorker, AOC said she had not seriously considered it but also left the door open for a challenge.

“I know it drives everybody nuts. But the way that I really feel about this; and the way that I really approach my politics and my political career is that I do not look at things, and I do not set my course positionally,” she said in the late June interview that is set to air in full Monday night as part of CNN’s new series “Being …”

“And I know there’s a lot of people who do not believe that. But I really — I can’t operate the way that I operate and do the things that I do in politics while trying to be aspiring to other things or calculating to other things,” the 31-year-old progressive added.

Schumer, 70, who has represented New York state in the Senate since 1999, is up for re-election in 2022.

AOC defeated 10-term Democratic incumbent Representative Joe Crowley in a primary race in 2018 and went on to win the general election to represent the Empire State’s 14th Congressional District.

“For what it’s worth, Senator Schumer and I have been working very closely on a lot of legislation and that, to me, is important,” she told Bash. “And so, we shall see.”

In addition, the Post said, AOC has been asked before about a potential challenge to Schumer.

In January, she told Punchbowl News that she was “very much in a place where I’m trying to decide what is the most effective thing I can do to help our Congress, our [political] process, and our country actually address the issues of climate change, health care, wage inequality, etc.”

“I’m not playing coy or anything like that,” she added.

In her CNN interview, AOC also was asked about ambitions that go beyond the Senate, including a run for the White House. She said that looking that far into the future, at least for now, would compromise her ability to do her current job.

“I struggle with this because I don’t want little girls watching or anything like that to lower their sights or anything in that direction. But for me, I feel that if that was in the scope of my ambition, it would chip away at my courage today,” she said.

Research contact: @nypost

After a ‘Times’ report on Trump’s taxes, the figure $750 could stick in voters’ minds

September 29, 2020

The late hotelier Leona Helmsley famously said “Only the little people pay taxes”—a quote that is being recalled by many Americans after learning from an exclusive report by The New York Times that President Donald Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017—and absolutely nothing for ten of the preceding 15 years.

And while most Americans will be shocked, the $750 figure may well stick in the minds of blue-collar voters who earn far less than a president, and who pay far more in federal taxes.

Indeed, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Sunday, September 27, that she had paid thousands of dollars in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017— when she was still working as a New York bartender. “He contributed less to funding our communities than waitresses & undocumented immigrants,” she wrote.

The Biden campaign on Sunday night used the report to press its case that Trump is out of touch with the working Americans he says he is fighting for. The campaign quickly put out a video showing the typical income taxes paid by an elementary school teacher, a firefighter and a nurse. Each paid thousands of dollars in taxes per year.

At a Sunday evening news conference, Trump dismissed the reporting as “totally fake news” and claimed he was never contacted about the report, despite the fact that a lawyer for the Trump Organization was quoted in the article.

The Times did not disclose just how its reporters had gotten their hands on tax return data that covers more than two decades. The president has long refused to release this information, making him the first POTUS in decades to hide basic details about his finances. His refusal has made his tax returns among the most sought-after documents in recent memory.

Among the key findings of the Times’s investigation:

It is important to remember that the returns are not an unvarnished look at Trump’s business activity. They are instead his own portrayal of his companies, compiled for the I.R.S. But they do offer the most detailed picture yet available.

But it’s inevitably a story he will face questions about in the first presidential debate on Tuesday night. And with five weeks left in the race, every day that Trump is on defense is one when he isn’t able to shift the dynamics of a race that public polls show he is currently losing.

The Times also notes, “Revelations like the fact that Trump deducted $70,000 for hairstyling expenses during “The Apprentice” also risk contributing to a sense that the president views his supporters — those who serve in the military, or pay their tax bills, or attend his rallies in the middle of a pandemic — as fools.”

To wit: The tax revelations followed a report in The Atlantic this month that said the president had privately referred to American troops killed in combat as “losers” and “suckers.”

And a former official on the coronavirus task force, Olivia Troye, has gone on the record in recent weeks to recall that the president, during a meeting she attended, said there was an upside to the virus: He would no longer have to shake hands with “disgusting” people, referring to his own supporters.

Research contact: @nytimes

AOC: Stephen Miller ‘must resign’ after leak of his white nationalist emails, xenophobic rants

November 15, 2019

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), also known as AOC, has called on Senior White House Adviser Stephen Miller to resign immediately amid reports that he regularly pushed white nationalist talking points and xenophobic rants in a series of leaked emails sent in the months before the 2016 presidential election.

In addition, the Huffington Post reported this week, Miller “bemoaned opposition to Confederate symbols following a mass shooting in a black church in South Carolina and embraced immigration policies once lauded by Adolf Hitler.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center published an investigation from its Hatewatch blog on November 14 after reviewing more than 900 messages that Miller sent to the conservative news outlet Breitbart from March 2015 through June 2016.

More than 80% of the emails related to “or appear on threads relating to the subjects of race or immigration,” the group found, and many sought to promote far-right extremist ideas and anti-immigration messaging.

But despite the fact that Miller sent the messages before the election, @AOC tweeted on Tuesday that the trove of uncovered emails should bring the White House aide’s immediate resignation.

“Stephen Miller, Trump’s architect of mass human rights abuses at the border (including child separation & detention camps w/ child fatalities) has been exposed as a bonafide white nationalist,” the lawmaker wrote Tuesday night on Twitter. “He’s still at the White House shaping US immigration policy.”

She added, “Miller must resign. Now.

The Trump administration refused to discuss the SPLC’s investigation on Tuesday. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said she had not seen the report but called the SPLC an “utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization” in a statement to HuffPost. 

She added that the nonprofit group, which regularly defends civil liberties and shines a light on hate groups, was “beneath public discussion.”

Hatewatch said Tuesday that many of Miller’s emails were centered on race and immigration, calling his perspective “repetitious” and highly focused on “ending nonwhite immigration to the United States.” They were given to the news outlet by a former Breitbart editor, Katie McHugh, who said they “clearly illustrate his beliefs, which until now have not been made explicit and known to the American people.”

Miller has been the architect of many of President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration efforts and one of the administration’s most vocal defenders.

“Americans should be terrified by the casual way that Stephen Miller, who has enormous influence in the White House, shares racist content and speaks the language of white nationalists in emails to people he apparently considered fellow travelers,” Michael Edison Hayden, an investigative reporter at Hatewatch, said in a statement Tuesday.

Read the full investigation at the SPLC.

Research contact: @HuffPost

AOC: No ‘snub’ in absence from Speaker Pelosi’s Climate Change Committee

February 8, 2019

On February 7, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (California) named eight Democrats to the new special Climate Change Committee, but Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  of New York was not among them.

Speaking to Newsweek after the story on the committee broke, Ocasio-Cortez—known in the media as “AOC”—stressed that she had turned down the position after it was offered by Pelosi and that her absence from the committee was not a “snub.”

AOC, who unveiled her progressive Green New Deal program on the same day, told Newsweek that her rationale for continuing to push her own legislation instead of joining the committee was, “[It’s an] …investigatory body. They’re tackling the investigative piece. And right now, we’re tackling the legislative piece.” She also pointed to her involvement in other House panels that would address climate change initiatives.

The new panel announced by Pelosi—which is charged with examining climate change and steps to mitigate it—will include lawmakers with a wide range of tenures, including three freshmen, The Hill reported.

This new Select Committee will spearhead Democrats’ work to develop innovative, effective solutions to prevent and reverse the climate crisis,” Pelosi said in a statement. “It will generate the energy and action required to permanently reduce pollution so that we can honor our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations.”

The Democratic members are Representatives Ben Ray Luján (New Mexico), Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon), Julia Brownley (California), Sean Casten (Illinois), Jared Huffman  California.), Mike Levin (California), A. Donald McEachin (Virginia) and Joe Neguse (Colorado).

Neguse, one of the freshmen on the panel, tweeted on Thursday, “Excited to represent Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West on the Select Committee on Climate. I hope to be avoice for my generation by advocating for bold, progressive solutions on climate change. #ActOnClimate.”

Pelosi previously named Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida) to be chairwoman of the committee.

The Republican members of the panel have not yet been named. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) is responsible for picking the GOP lawmakers.

Research contact: @Timothy_Cama