White House chief of staff Ron Klain quietly met with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive lawmakers this week to discuss the filibuster and the minimum wage, Axios reports.
The meeting included Reps. Jamaal Bowman, Ayanna Pressley, and Andy Levin, underscoring the White House’s repeated outreach to members of the progressive wing of the party.
Klain did not make any promises to scrap the filibuster as progressives have called for but reaffirmed President Joe Biden’s commitment to boosting the federal minimum wage to $15.
The group is expected to hold meetings with the White House again in the future.
Klain reaches out to progressives:
Klain, a longtime Biden confidante, has made it a point to gain input from various factions in the party, particularly on the left.
Klain last week met with Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal and other members in a separate meeting.
Both Jayapal and Ocasio-Cortez have said they are encouraged by Klain’s efforts.
Biden softens on filibuster:
Biden made clear in his first press conference on Thursday that he supports reforming the filibuster but may be open to scrapping it entirely in the face of Republican “abuse.”
Biden called for the Senate to adopt a talking filibuster to force senators to hold marathon sessions to delay bills rather than torpedo them with the threat of a filibuster.
“Let's deal with the abuse first," he said. "If we have to, if there’s complete lockdown and chaos as a consequence of the filibuster, then we’ll have to go beyond what I’m talking about.”