Top Democrats kept Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez off a powerful committee she wanted to use to advance her progressive agenda

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was not chosen to sit on the House Ways and Means Committee.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez missed out on a crucial committee appointment on Thursday.
  • The spot on the House Ways and Means Committee went to Rep. Tom Suozzi, a more fiscally conservative Democrat than Ocasio-Cortez.
  • The committee oversees many parts of US economic policy, including Medicare funding, a key part of Ocasio-Cortez’s platform.
  • Ocasio-Cortez’s representative said she “hoped to be on it, but we’re excited to see what committees she does get.”

Top Democrats in Congress have kept Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York off a prominent committee she had hoped to use to advance her progressive agenda.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Steering and Policy Committee on Thursday gave the spot on the House Ways and Means Committee to Rep. Tom Suozzi of New York, 56, a more fiscally conservative Democrat than Ocasio-Cortez, 29.

Ocasio-Cortez’s representative, Corbin Trent, told Fox News and the New York Post in a statement that Ocasio-Cortez “hoped to be on it, but we’re excited to see what committees she does get.”

He added that she was “certainly not” upset by the decision.


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The committee oversees many parts of US economic policy, including spending, taxes, and revenue. It would have been a high-profile arena for Ocasio-Cortez to advocate her progressive agenda, which includes “Medicare for All,” the proposal to move the US toward universal coverage through an expansion of government-sponsored healthcare.

Two key parts of Ocasio-Cortez’s platform, Medicare for All and the “Green New Deal,” would need the committee’s approval to become law.

First-year members of Congress are rarely given seats on high-ranking committees. But representatives from New York usually have at least one seat reserved on the Ways and Means Committee.

Alexandria Ocasio CortezHollis Johnson/Business InsiderOcasio-Cortez’s representative said she ‘hoped to be on it, but we’re excited to see what committees she does get.’

A petition championing Ocasio-Cortez for the role reached 90,000 signatures before the committee appointments were announced.

Progressive groups like the Justice Democrats, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Socialists of America supported her appointment, The Hill reported.


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