Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and two of her “Squad” allies were appointed Tuesday to the House oversight committee, giving the legislators a valuable perch to influence President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
Ocasio-Cortez, author of the Green New Deal, recently was denied her request for a seat on the House energy and commerce committee. Democrats voted 46-13 to instead appoint centrist New York Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice.
But the oversight committee appointment, announced Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), will allow the self-labeled socialist to push Biden and his appointees on adoption or implementation of policies across the federal bureaucracy.
The 31-year-old legislator, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens, will be joined on the committee by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who was an original member of Ocasio-Cortez’s four-person “Squad,” also called “AOC plus three.”
Former St Louis area protest organizer Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who posed for a celebratory “Squad” expansion photo as she was sworn in on Sunday, also will be on the oversight committee.
Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and “Squad” associate Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) were on the oversight committee in the past two-year House term, but during that period most of the action — notably including President Trump’s impeachment — was delegated to the Judiciary and Intelligence committees.
Prior to Trump’s presidency, the House oversight committee was a frequently news-making investigatory panel. Under Trump, its focuses included a hearing last year grilling Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on cost-cutting reforms made before the election and hearings focused on the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
The committee is chaired by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Pelosi said Tuesday that Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) also will re-join the committee after earning significant attention for her emotive interrogations of witnesses.
Although Ocasio-Cortez supported Biden, she said Sunday, ““we have to push the Biden administration hard. This whole thing ‘We can’t cancel student loan debt’ is not gonna fly.”