Ocasio-Cortez Sought Seat on Panel Promising Scrutiny of Trump

(Bloomberg) -- Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the outspoken New York socialist, said she sought out a seat on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which has promised heightened scrutiny of President Donald Trump and his administration.

She was given a seat on the committee even though it will require a special waiver because she already was appointed to the Financial Services Committee.

"I kind of just put it out there and tried to see if leadership was receptive," she told reporters. Ocasio-Cortez said her focus in seeking to serve on the committee is on areas where the panel can have "the most leeway to protect people."

Also joining the panel will be Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who was recorded using a profanity while calling for Trump’s impeachment in speaking to supporters, as will Representative Ro Khanna of California and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. The appointments were announced Tuesday night by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a statement.

Ocasio-Cortez Sought Seat on Panel Promising Scrutiny of Trump

The four liberals were selected by the Democratic steering committee, which determines appointments. The chamber’s Democratic caucus has to formally approve the selections.

Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley won their offices in the election in November that gave Democrats control of the House of Representatives.

Tlaib was caught on video on the day of her swearing-in telling supporters that Democrats were going to impeach the president, whom she referred to with a profane epithet.

Tlaib said she was not deterred by the criticism of that remark, and that her constituents would support her. “I’m here to work and be their voice. But I love the fact that my residents don’t expect me to be perfect, or that polished politician,” she said.

“They wanted somebody real and they have someone.”

Ocasio-Cortez Sought Seat on Panel Promising Scrutiny of Trump

Ocasio-Cortez has become a sensation among progressives after she defeated an established Democratic incumbent last year.

The liberals on the panel stand in stark contrast to some of the GOP members. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, co-founders of the conservative Freedom Caucus, both serve on the committee, with Jordan as the top Republican.

The Oversight Committee has an expansive jurisdiction, and Democrats now hold its extensive subpoena powers to force witnesses to testify and to obtain documents. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, is set to appear before the committee in a public hearing on Feb. 7.

The committee’s chairman, Elijah Cummings of Maryland, announced Tuesday that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will face questioning by the committee on March 14 about the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

“The American people voted for accountability and transparency this past election, and I’m eager to work in a bipartisan manner on behalf of all of our constituents to deliver on these goals,” Cummings said in a statement.

Other Democrats named to the committee include Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.

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