President-elect Biden has tapped former chief of staff Bruce Reed to join his incoming White House team despite vocal progressive concerns about his record.
Reed, 60, will serve as the 46th commander-in-chief’s deputy chief of staff, the Biden transition team announced Tuesday morning. His name was included on a list of six senior White House appointments.
Reed has been a Biden adviser since the 1990s, when he worked in the White House as assistant to the president for domestic policy. It was in that capacity that he worked with Biden, then a senator, on the 1994 crime bill.
“I’ve known and admired Bruce for over 20 years. We worked closely together to pass the crime bill in the 1990s and I’ve frequently sought his advice and counsel in the years since,” the then-vice president said in a statement in 2011 after announcing Reed’s appointment as chief of staff.
It was in that position, which he stayed in until 2013, that he worked on the Bowles-Simpson Commission, a bipartisan task force organized under then-President Obama to address the recession that urged massive deficit reductions.
Most recently, he served as a senior adviser to the Biden campaign, raising alarm bells for progressives who did not want to see him added to the administration.
As Reed’s name was being floated as a potential pick to run the Office of Management and Budget last month, Justice Democrats, a group dedicated to electing progressives, began circulating a petition calling on Biden to not “repeat Obama’s mistake” by working with him.
The petition was backed by progressive heavyweights, with “Squad” Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) all signing on.
Incoming Reps.-elect Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Cory Bush (D-Mo.) also threw their support behind the petition, which amassed nearly 35,000 signatures.
“We are extremely concerned by the reports that Reed is a frontrunner to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Biden administration, given his history of antipathy towards economic security programs that working people rely on. We demand that OMB be staffed with people who will prioritize working people, not Wall Street deficit scaremongers,” the petition language read.
While Biden ultimately opted for Neera Tanden, a fellow “moderate,” as his budget chief, progressive groups will likely not react positively to the news of Reed receiving a senior White House post.
A Biden transition spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on progressive objections to Reed’s appointment.