Rep. Ilhan Omar says she and Congress’ other socialist-leaning members are pushing a potential President Joe Biden to use his executive powers to enact a host of left-wing policy priorities including those dealing with the climate, immigration, and wages.
“As progressives, you know, we are still pushing to see more of us as part of the transition team, and we’ll continue to do that,” the Minnesota Democrat and “Squad” member told MSNBC’s Atman Mohyeldin.
Omar told the host that she recently launched a petition drive calling on Biden, should he become president, to “be bold” during his first 100 days in office.
She added that she is continuing her push to have “more people who are willing to fight for real progress” to be added to his potential administration.
“So, you know, what we’re asking for the incoming administration is to come into this with eyes wide open. We recognize that the Republican Party will do everything that they can in their power to make sure this president is not successful,” Omar said without a hint of irony, given Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump over the past four years.
Ahead of the election, Omar — along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.,), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) — expressed support for a “People’s Charter” written by a group known as the Working Families Party.
The charter called for, among other things, free public health care, defunding police and reallocating that money to social programs, a $15 minimum wage, ending student debt, and retroactive hazard pay for workers deemed essential.
In her interview with Mohyeldin, Omar reiterated some of those priorities which she wants Biden to enact via executive authority, though it is likely many of them would be challenged in court.
“We know that what gets accomplished in the first 100 days are important for an administration, and we’re asking, you know, President-elect Biden and Harris to use their executive power in increasing the minimum wage to $15,” Omar said.
“For federal workers, we’re asking them to use their executive power to declare the climate crisis as a national emergency. We’re asking them to use their executive power in strengthening ocean protections,” she continued. “We’re asking them to use their executive power in reinstating things like temporary protection status for so many people in our country.
“There are so many things that need to get done in regards to undoing the damage that has been done in the last four years, also in stabilizing our country in regards to the economy and the coronavirus,” the controversial Democrat added. “But we also have an opportunity to leap into the future as we look at what it means to create an economy that works for everyone.”
Her petition credited Biden for pledging to end the fictional “Muslim ban,” re-enter the Paris Climate Accords, reaffirm and reinstate DACA, and boost refugee admissions by 100,000 beginning next year.
“And we have been encouraged by their response to our calls to keep people who oppose progressive priorities like Bruce Reed and Rahm Emmanuel out of the Administration. This is a great start,” Omar told MSNBC.
In addition to the other policy priorities, Omar’s petition also seeks:
— Enforceable COVID-19 health and safety rules that that “wealthy corporations like Amazon” can’t “escape liability the risk the lives and health of their workers.”
— A declaration that the “climate crisis is a national emergency” while creating a new federal “Office of Climate Mobilization.”
— A mechanism to “address our rigged economy.”
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