Biden: It Would Be 'Difficult' To Lose Sanders, Warren From Senate For Cabinet

The president-elect says he is open to including his progressive former rivals in his new administration, but that he also needs strong leadership in the Senate.

11/25/2020 10:31:00 PM

President-elect Joe Biden said he's open to including progressive former rivals Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in his administration — but said he also needs strong leadership in the Senate.

The president-elect says he is open to including his progressive former rivals in his new administration, but that he also needs strong leadership in the Senate.

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President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday introduced his nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy posts. In an exclusive interview with NBC News' Lester Holt he said key agencies from the Trump administration are reaching out to facilitate the transition of power.

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Carolyn Kaster/APtoggle captionCarolyn Kaster/APPresident-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday introduced his nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy posts. In an exclusive interview with NBC News' Lester Holt he said key agencies from the Trump administration are reaching out to facilitate the transition of power.

Carolyn Kaster/APLooking ahead to his remaining administration appointments, President-elect Joe Biden says he is open to including Republicans as well as progressive former rivals Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren."We already have significant representation among progressives in our administration, but there's nothing really off the table," he said in an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt.

However, he said it would be"difficult" to take influential members of Congress out of their positions to build outhis administration."One thing is really critical: Taking someone out of the Senate, taking someone out of the House — particularly a person of consequence is a really difficult decision that will have to be made," Biden said.

"I have a very ambitious, very progressive agenda and it's going to take really strong leaders in the House and Senate to get it done."Republicans currently have 50 seats in the Senate, and the balance of power in the chamber will be decided in runoff elections in Georgia. Potentially replacing Warren or Sanders could throw even more uncertainty into the mix.

If Sanders were pulled out of Congress, Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont, a Republican, initially said he would name another independent, but later said he would name"a more left-leaning type of independent that would obviously caucus with the Democrats."

In Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has mostly avoided saying how he would fill a Warren vacancy. The Massachusetts legislature came up with a proposal to make Baker appoint a Democrat — but the governor said he would veto it.In the interview, Biden struck a positive tone on the Trump administration's cooperation with his transition following an unprecedented delay.

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Biden smiled as he confirmed that the transition"has already begun" despite President Trump's refusal to formally admit defeat."I must say the outreach has been sincere — it has not been begrudging so far and I don't expect it to be," Biden told Holt.

Biden noted there has been"a lot of immediate discussion" after the head of the General Services Administration finally unlocked the mechanisms for there to be a traditional transfer on Monday."Immediately, we've gotten outreach from the National Security shop, from, just across the board," he said, adding that transition teams are"already working out my ability to get Presidential Daily Briefs."

Biden also emphasized that his administration would not just be a continuation of the Obama years."This is not a third Obama term because ... we face a totally different world than we faced in the Obama/Biden administration," he said."President Trump has changed the landscape. It's become America first, it's been America alone."

With regard to the COVID-19 crisis that has thrown the country back toward the brink of shutting down, Biden said his team is arranging to meet with White House officials who have been handling the pandemic. Among the issues they plan to address is"how to not only distribute, but get from a vaccine being distributed, to a person being able to get vaccinated."

Read more: NPR »

Not elect a prosses is involved. When it is done you can call him that but untill that point stop claiming he is anything Too much cheating Quarantined Vermont and Massachusetts have Republican governors. I agree we can't lose seats in the Senate. Maybe reach out and see if those 2 have recommendations for people they would have chosen if they were in Biden's position?

Why not make BernieSanders the Secretary of HUD? He already has plenty of ideas for sensible, affordable housing. Independent would fill VT seat and the evergrowing number of destitute people on our streets could have a real champion. BidenTransition WhipClyburn Ntl_Homeless If only there were a pool of 300 million people to pick from...🙄

youvebeenwarned He can’t select either one as both states have Republican governors who would appoint a Republican Senator to take their place and if the Dems win both Georgia seats then such an appointment would give the Repub control of the senate again -why would he do that , makes no sense Look at the people he nominated. Every one of them are career professionals with decades of experience to hold those positions. Decades of relationships with Joe Biden, too. Biden will run a tight ship, everyone rowing in the same direction. Bernie would not fit in this crowd.

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Yes, it's a shame, but Sen. Warren needs to stay right where she is. We can't let a Republican governor fill that seat. Biden Thats one way to keep em out of his administration. Love it. I actually agree with Joe Biden both Bernie and Elizabeth have Republican governors in their states. You cannot trust the GOP rhetoric they will immediately replace them with Republicans. It is sad because if Vermont and Massachusetts had Democratic governors it can workout.

He is got a point. We need all the manpower we can get at the senate right now Exactly. We need them in the Senate. We cannot mess around with the Senate, at this time. Warren would be my pick for most things, but Biden can't risk Republican governors appointing Republicans to fill their seats, even though I think I read Scott say he would appoint a left-leaning Independent to fill Bernie's seat.

A real leader. Sane! Dems have a deep bench for Senate candidates. We need progressive representation in Biden's administration. Warren's understanding of the administrative state and power levers is particularly needed to rebuild a fair govt that Trump scrapped. Biden has the most qualified and experienced people working with him. Every decision they have made so far has worked. He won the election and now we ALL need to be patient and let him run the country. Nothing will happen overnight.

He should be including Republicans as well. Bipartisanship Duh! I don't think Biden HAD to tell us that! Oh dear. To be honest there aren’t very many cabinet positions worth ditching a senate seat for. Treasury and State are probably the top two and they’re both off the table. I understand Bernie might want Labor but I’m not convinced that’s actually better than his senate seat.

MAKE SCIENCE GREAT AGAIN👩‍🔬 🔬 house and Senate vote on Party lines, Biden is just breaking is Promise to Elizabeth Warren and is Blocking Joe Kennedy from a Senate Seat. We need them in the senate. Warren and Sanders know their presence in the cabinet would be counter productive. If either pursues it it will only prove their selfishness and obsession with celebrity. I doubt either will.

Hold your horses guys. News from Pennsylvania about the election. take Warren but leave sanders where he's at, unless they can find appropriately progressive replacements why always Democrats are the ones who always lick Republicans butts and trying to be nice it makes me wonder why I voted for them. Horrible team horrible horrible! Americans who vote for Biden, it’s time for you to deserve the communism power.

Not realistic in states with Republican governors. Listen in and hear this You should not be a slave to sin. And Pete? I like that halo around Joe’s head... What committee does Sanders chair? “Needs strong leadership in the senate” ah the classic Neo-Liberal excuse for why they don’t appoint actual leftist in positions of power. Disgusting. We helped Biden win and this is how he responds. Y’all are on your own for 2024. Never voting blue again.

We CANNOT, CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE ANY MORE DEMOCRATS FRON SenateDems . This is my favorite part. SUCK IT all you inconsequentials! Good! He has already removed one Senator with VP-Elect Harris. He should not remove any more Democratic Senators from congress. PaulDereume Joe ! 46 !! They can probably do the most good in the Senate right now.

Joe let's not forget Hunter, 10 %.💰💰💰 If Bernie had a real job how would he have time for his 2024 campaign? PaulDereume Keep Bernie and Warren in the senate!! Ah yes....the puppet speaks. We need Biden though. The far left wing is a danger to national security I figured he was keeping that in mind - but great to have confirmation!

Do people complaining about this realize that Biden's agenda (and the progressive agenda) is DOA if the Dems don't gain control of the Senate. Fighting for 2 seats in GA while losing Bernie/Warren's in the Senate (and having their governors name GOP replacements) is ludicrous. uh-huh.... Yes, and I realize, though KamalaHarris no longer will be a senator, will be President of the Senate, and will still have a vote to break a tie.

JoeBiden you’re open to it?! You won bc of THEIR outreach. Repubs didnt vote for you. The myth of the moderate Repub voter. Kasich didnt deliver Ohio. Progressives, youth, black voters, & WC Hispanics delivered a win. Where’s the progressive representation you promised? It is also worth noting that the Governors of both VT and MA (who would appoint their replacement) are both Republicans. Moderate ones, reasonably well respected (MA yes, VT I think so, but I don't live there), but Republicans nonetheless.

Kamala was a sen. though. As much as I'd like to see Warren there, we need them in the senate. There are plenty of qualified progressives who aren't holding a critical seat in a precarious position in the Senate. For those complaining about this, both Warren and Sanders are in states with Republican governors. The governor chooses replacement senators when there’s a vacancy. The Senate cannot lose them.

Biden won't choose Warren or Sanders for anything. You can bet on that! Those two are staying right where they are . . . welcome to politics! Yes we need to control the senate No. Dumb. Those constituencies are going to vote in new progressives. Get real progressives with experience in the cabinet. Now.

May be just may be it's time for us to fully turn over the US Congress...the partisan politics have only gotten worse...both sides are to blame! FireCongress That spoiled rotten selfserving idiot we have put up with for four years wouldn't know the first thing how to do this. Thankyou America for PresidentBiden

Open to it? You wouldn't have won without progressives, Joe. You gotta give back a little. The centrists are dying. Oh yes. Bernie. The model for Socialism turning into Communism in the flash of a moment. With Bernie in charge of course. Bullshit Good. The upcoming electorate desires progressivism.