Ocasio-Cortez set to join Maxine Waters on key committee

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(Image: Wikimedia)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced she is “looking forward” to joining the House Financial Services Committee but not everyone shares her enthusiasm.

The self-described Democratic socialist is set to join California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters in the key committee that has oversight of U.S banks, lenders, Wall Street and the housing industry, Fox News reported.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to sit on this committee as a freshman, and look forward to working under the leadership of @RepMaxineWaters!” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Tuesday. “Financial Services is one of just four exclusive committees in the House. It oversees big banks, lending, & the financial sector.”

The freshman New York lawmaker is one of several other progressives tapped for the panel like Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, who made headlines in her first days in Congress for a profane declaration to impeach President Donald Trump. Democratic House leaders have reportedly also recommended California Rep. Katie Porter, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who just announced her 2020 presidential bid.

The 29-year-old congresswoman has advocated policies like free college, single payer government health insurance, and a “Green New Deal” which she suggested funding by taxing the super wealthy at 70 percent. She added in another tweet that she was also looking forward to “digging into” several key issues such as student loans and “for-profit prisons/ICE detention.”

For a lawmaker who denounced corporate donations during her campaign and has criticized those with close ties to the financial sector, Ocasio-Cortez’ position on the committee with oversight of Wall Street may be challenging for some of her New York constituents who work in the financial services industry.

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman bluntly stated that Ocasio-Cortez was “not the future” of the Democratic Party, sparking a Twitter comeback by the freshman lawmaker.

Some of her Democratic colleagues, who have already had to grapple with how to handle the new congresswoman and her radical agenda, are also concerned.

“I don’t know enough about her to be able to determine if she’s going to be a good member or what,” Missouri Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay, told Politico. “Time will tell, and this one term will tell us a lot about her abilities as a legislator.”

A sitting member of the Financial Services Committee, Clay faced a Democratic challenger in 2018 who was backed by Ocasio-Cortez.

According to Politico:

Lobbyists privately expressed mixed views on the prospect of her joining the committee. Some see her as a potential threat when it comes to Democrats working out legislation with Republicans. But others say she will be one among dozens on the committee and that it will be difficult for a low-ranking member to make noise.

 

Clay reportedly congratulated Ocasio-Cortez on her appointment to the committee and said he would welcome her so “she could get a full appreciation of financial services in this country.”

“Who knows,” he added. “She may deal with some issues over this first term and her supporters may start referring to her as a sellout.”

Ocasio-Cortez had reportedly hoped to have a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee but was passed over on the panel by New York Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, according to Fox News.

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Frieda Powers

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