Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Secures Prime Committee Spot, Proves That Grassroots Power Matters

Originally published on pastemagazine.com.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has secured a seat on the powerful House Financial Services Committee, which oversees Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to confirm the news Tuesday night with a message reading, “Financial Services is one of just four exclusive committees in the House. It oversees big banks, lending, and the financial sector. 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!”

It is exceedingly rare for first-year members of Congress to be placed on House committees as powerful as the Financial Services Committee. The appointment represents a vote of confidence from party leadership after Ocasio-Cortez was left off the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees economic policy issues like taxes and spending.

The Financial Services Committee is one of the most government’s most powerful regulating bodies when it comes to Wall Street. It played a key role in the formation of the historic Dodd-Frank legislation that aimed to secure the country’s financial sector after the crash in 2008.

Ocasio-Cortez’s appointment makes her one of the most left-leaning committee members when it comes to economic policy and Wall Street. She ran her 2018 campaign without the help of corporate donors, and made breaking up big banks a central point in her platform along with sweeping economic reforms like the Green New Deal.

As for her goals for the committee, Bloomberg reports that Ocasio-Cortez is expected to advocate increased scrutiny of large financial firms. She also outlined a few more issues she intends to tackle in another tweet Tuesday night, saying, “Personally, I’m looking forward to digging into the student loan crisis, examining for-profit prisons/ICE detention, and exploring the development of public & postal banking. To start.”

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