Controversial freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) just scored her first major political victory, one that is sure to turn heads on Wall Street after she secured a seat on the powerful House Financial Services Committee, led by the also controversial Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).
Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who has previously discussed breaking up big Wall Street banks, made the announcement in a series of Tweets, saying: “Financial Services is one of just four exclusive committees in the House. It oversees big banks, lending, & 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!”
I want to be very clear about how successful the work of grassroots organizers and activists have been in helping Progressives secure appointments to the powerful Financial Services Committee.
It starts, as w/ many amazing developments, w/ everyday people paying attention. https://t.co/oKBI0OXCAz
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 16, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, has degrees in economics and international relations, though, it is rare for first-year members of Congress to attain a seat on such a powerful committee.
Per Business Insider:
The Financial Services Committee has formal responsibility to oversee the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission. It has regular opportunities to interrogate top US financial officials.
It is where the biggest overhaul of US finance in over a century was put together, and it is virtually impossible to pass new bills about Wall Street without its members’ input.
It is one of the key committees that gives banks their freedom, or reins them in.
The committee was crucial in the formation of the Dodd-Frank package of laws meant to secure the US financial sector in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. One of Dodd-Frank’s cosponsors, Barney Frank, was serving as chairman of the committee at the time.
With Ocasio-Cortez on the committee, it is plausible that in the near future the US public could see a democratic socialist publicly grill, for instance, the CEO of Goldman Sachs.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Tuesday night. “To start.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s appointment comes after she was left off the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees many parts of US economy policy including spending, taxes, and revenue.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Steering and Policy Committee instead offered the spot on the committee to Rep. Tom Suozzi, a 56-year-old, more fiscally conservative Democrat.
Two key parts of Ocasio-Cortez’s platform, Medicare for All and the “Green New Deal,” would need the Ways and Means committee’s approval to become law.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is running for president in 2020, is also expected to be given a place on the Financial Services Committee, Bloomberg reported.