Elizabeth Warren meets with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Washington

Sen. Elizabeth Warren met with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive freshman lawmaker from New York, in Washington on Thursday.

“The congresswoman has been meeting with various presidential candidates to talk about the issues,” Ocasio-Cortez communications director Corbin Trent told CNN. He said Warren did not ask the New Yorker for an endorsement during their lunch near Capitol Hill.

Ocasio-Cortez has not yet backed a candidate in the 2020 Democratic primary, despite her ties to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The pair campaigned together for progressive candidates during the 2018 midterm primaries. An endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez, a national lightning rod who remains popular with young people, women and non-white voters, would be a shot of adrenaline in the crowded nominating contest, especially as the candidates vie for support — and donations — from progressive primary voters. Ocasio-Cortez has said she could wait to decide until New York votes, in April of next year.

Warren and Ocasio-Cortez overlap on some policy priorities.

Both have been among the highest-profile critics of Amazon, which had its plans to establish a new headquarters in New York City scuttled following backlash from some Democratic state lawmakers and progressive activists.

Earlier this month, Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, called for the company, along with fellow tech giants Google and Facebook, to be broken up under new regulatory law. She then held a rally in Long Island City, near where the Amazon hub was slated to be built. Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional district includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, bordering on location.

In January, after rounds of layoffs at HuffPost, BuzzFeed and other news organizations made headlines, Ocasio-Cortez called Big Tech’s dominance a threat to journalism. When Amazon pulled out of its agreement with New York, she sent out a celebratory tweet.

“Anything is possible,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.”

Warren, in her proposal earlier this month, said she would seek to impose new rules that could break up certain tech companies with $25 billion or more in annual revenue. The plan would also unwind some of the industry’s largest mergers — like one that put Amazon in business with Whole Foods.

“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation,” Warren wrote in a post on Medium. “That’s why my Administration will make big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition—including breaking up Amazon, Facebook, and Google.”

CNN’s MJ Lee contributed to this report.

 

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