Progressives Say Biden Must Embrace Left-Leaning Policies

Progressive Democratic groups issued a call to President-elect Joe Biden to embrace what they called his mandate to govern with a populist message and defy the Senate Republican majority.

In a memo released on Sunday by Justice Democrats, the Sunrise Movement, New Deal Strategies and Data for Progress, the liberal groups said the Democratic Party must embrace a populist economic message and support progressive candidates, and that Biden must use his “convincing victory” to shape his governing decisions.

“The scope and scale of the problems do not leave any room for the Democratic Party to waste time hoping Republican leadership can be coaxed into caring about the American people,” the memo reads.

Biden defeated a number of progressive primary rivals, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, to win the nomination and ultimately the presidency. He ran on a centrist platform and promised that he could work with Republicans in Congress to shape policy that would help the U.S. recover from the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic downturn.

But the progressive groups behind the memo insisted that Biden’s margin of victory gives him room to move to the left in appointing cabinet and staff members, and in the policies he would embrace between his inauguration in January and the midterm elections in 2022.

The groups warned Democrats were at risk of losing their majority in the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms.

Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, a member of the so-called Squad of female progressive members of Congress, easily retained her seat with 64% support. But she underperformed Biden, who carried 80% of her district.

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