Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib Named to High-Profile House Oversight Committee

Committee Dems have pledged to conduct wide-ranging investigations into Trump administration

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) / Twitter
• January 23, 2019 10:07 am


Progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) will serve on the House Oversight Committee, which plans to aggressively launch investigations into the Trump administration.

Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib, two of the most outspoken freshmen members of Congress, have been extremely critical of President Donald Trump, both during their campaigns and since being sworn into office earlier this month. Their addition to the committee comes at a time when Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.), the chairman of the committee, has declared they will "hit the ground, not running, but flying." The committee plans to look into questions surrounding former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and the Department of Health and Human Services' hurricane response, among others.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian woman elected to Congress, received scrutiny from Republicans and Democrats alike earlier this month when she said Democrats were to going to "impeach the motherfucker," referring to Trump. She said she would "never apologize" for being herself, including her sentiments about Trump, but she did regret her language being a distraction for her Democratic colleagues.

Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist and the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, has become one of the most prominent members of the new Democratic House majority, where she has been outspoken about progressive issues like climate change and immigration. She has repeatedly called for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to be abolished and said earlier this month that it has "systematically violated human rights" and caused "death." While she has many supporters on the left, there are several Senate Democrats frustrated with her becoming the face of Democratic Party.

After two sources revealed the two progressive freshmen would join the committee, Politico reached out to Cummings to see if he was concerned about them being outspoken.

"If I based the choices going on the committee based on what people said or their reputations or whatever, I probably wouldn’t have a committee," Cummings said. "I am excited — there were a lot of people that wanted to come on our committee."

Cummings approved the new additions after the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee sent him the new committee roster. In addition to Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez, Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.) and Ro Khanna (D., Calif.) were added to the oversight committee.

Rep. Dan Kildee (D., Mich.), a member of the steering panel, said he approved of the new picks and was excited there would be some "aggressive" Democrats on the oversight committee.

"I want people to be aggressive, especially on that committee. It’s good to have people who aren’t afraid," the Michigan Democrat said in an interview. "They’re going to be dealing with some pretty important stuff."