Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three of her fellow congresswomen, Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Katie Porter and Cori Bush, have been appointed to the House Oversight Committee, allowing them to have more control in holding President-elect Joe Biden’s administration accountable.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) January 6, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday, nominating incoming freshmen and returning members for appointments to the House Committees on Armed Services, Education and Labor, Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Oversight and Reform, Science, Space and Technology, Small Business and Veterans Affairs.
“Reinvigorated by our outstanding freshmen members, strengthened by our returning members, and inspired by the people whom we are honored to represent, our majority is ready to build back better in a way that will advance justice and prosperity for all Americans," Pelosi said in a statement. "Our committees, enriched by the addition of these members, are ready to drive transformational progress.”
The House Oversight Committee launched an investigation in 2019 to determine whether the Trump administration followed proper procedure in issuing a number of security clearances, as Blavity previously reported. Led by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the committee stated that it was aiming to clarify "why the White House and transition team appear to have disregarded established procedures for safeguarding classified information."
Squad up. pic.twitter.com/bp2KATL22R
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) January 3, 2021
The House Oversight Committee also focused on addressing Trump's missing tax returns and the personal email use of White House employees. With her position on the committee, Ocasio-Cortez plans to address a number of policies, including student debt, the New York Post reported.
“We have to push the Biden administration hard," she said in an interview with startup news service Punchbowl. "This whole thing ‘We can’t cancel student loan debt’ is not gonna fly.”
Last month, Biden expressed doubt about his authority to forgive student loans, The Washington Post reported.
“It’s arguable that the president may have the executive power to forgive up to $50,000 in student debt,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said. “Well, I think that’s pretty questionable. I’m unsure of that. I’d be unlikely to do that.”
Ocasio-Cortez went to Twitter on Wednesday to highlight some of her priorities as a lawmaker, including COVID-19 relief, climate justice, healthcare, voting rights and ending the death penalty.
"What policies do you most want to PUSH for?" the 31-year-old asked her followers.
It’s a new day!
Who’s ready to PUSH? ????????♀️????????????????♂️
Ready to PUSH for retroactive COVID relief? ????
And to PUSH for student loan cancellation?????
For climate justice? ????
Voting rights? ????
Ending the death penalty?????????⚖️
What policies do you most want to PUSH for? ⤵️
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 6, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez's appointment comes after she was recently denied a seat on the House energy and commerce committee, losing to centrist Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), according to the New York Post.
“I’m the only member to have the full region’s endorsement for New York state,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview last month. “[Rice] has a couple signatures but she does not have the region’s endorsement, nor does she have the support of Dean Nadler.”
Nadler, who serves as House Judiciary Chair, signed a letter supporting Ocasio-Cortez, but didn't do the same for Rice, Politico reported.
Ocasio-Cortez was also receiving support from several Democrats, who privately said she was the first candidate to declare her intentions to run for the seat and the only one to do so at a New York delegation meeting in November. Letters obtained by Politico revealed that Ocasio-Cortez secured 15 signatures, compared to 13 for Rice. But it was democrats who voted 46-13 to appoint Rice.
After defeating 10-term incumbent Lacy Clay in the election in November, Bush has become the first Black woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri.