Ocasio-Cortez Seeks Powerful Committee Seats to Advance Left’s Agenda

New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez participates in a a town hall he
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has yet to be sworn in as New York 14th District’s Representative in the House, but she is already lobbying to be seated on some of the most powerful committees in that chamber.

As Breitbart News reported, Ocasio-Cortez has already expressed her desire to be on two committees that are rarely open to freshman lawmakers — House Financial Services and Energy and Commerce.

The finance committee oversees the nation’s financial sector, while energy and commerce’s jurisdiction includes public health and research, environmental quality, and energy policy.

Ocasio-Cortez has also expressed interest in joining the House Ways and Means Committee, perhaps the most powerful of the three because of its role in appropriations and banking.

If Ocasio-Cortez gets seated on any or all of these committees, she would be in a position to advance her political agenda, including universal Medicaid and the New Green Deal that focuses on abolishing fossil fuels and making the fight against so-called climate change a legislative priority.

“I think with our district, we can be ambitious, so we’re kind of swinging for the fences on committees,” Ocasio-Cortez told HillTV. “We might as well ask for something big.”

The Hill reported: 

The Financial Services panel is one of the most sought-after House committees. Its members wield significant influence over Washington’s relationship with Wall Street, and the panel offers access to millions of dollars in financial sector campaign donations.

The committee is also is expected to lead several investigations into President Trump’s personal finances, along with potential connections between his businesses and Russian oligarchs.

And the left is all in for Ocasio-Cortez’s attempted power grab.

Vice News reported that a spokesperson for the freshman said she is going to seek a seat on the Ways and Means Committee.

Ways and Means as well as Energy and Commerce are the two committees progressives need if they’re going to begin implementing their policy ideas in a meaningful way; without it, Ocasio-Cortez and other newly elected progressives will have a tough time getting any bill of consequence to advance to a floor vote.

“Everything that progressives care about goes through those committees,” Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works, a group working to get leftists on major committees, told Vice News.

In a move that could help her attain more historic gains after she defeated longtime Democrat Joe Crowley (D-NY) in the 2018 midterm elections to be the youngest woman to earn a House seat, Ocasio-Crowley, 29, tweeted in November her support for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in her bid to again be House Speaker when the Democrats regain the majority in January.

“All the challenges to Leader Pelosi are coming from her right, in an apparent effort to make the party even more conservative and bent toward corporate interests,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

“Hard pass. So long as Leader Pelosi remains the most progressive candidate for Speaker, she can count on my support,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

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