According to Politico, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is looking to take a top spot on one of the top committees of the U.S. House of Representatives.
That committee is the House Oversight Committee, the spot is the number two position on that committee.
Ocasio-Cortez, according to Politico, confirmed the news on Friday, saying, “there’s been conversations, but nothing’s been finalized.”
What’s going on?
It appears that this opportunity for Ocasio-Cortez may have to do with U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin’s (D-MD) illness.
Raskin is the current ranking member of the House Oversight Committee. But, recently, he revealed that he has been diagnosed with cancer and will be undergoing treatment.
Politico reports Raskin’s cancer treatment is “part” of the reason why Ocasio-Cortez might be named the Oversight committee’s vice-ranking member – a position that was created in 2017 by the Democrats in order to elevate junior members. It is not clear what the rest of the reason is.
Raskin, for his part, has yet to directly address the matter. Instead, he put out a somewhat generic statement lauding Ocasio-Cortez, saying:
I have the greatest admiration for her skill, and I’m sure we’re going to be able to deploy her to maximum effect on the committee, along with all these other amazing new members.
The House Oversight Committee, now that the Republicans have the House majority, is being led by U.S. Rep. James Comer (R-KY).
Comer and his fellow Republicans have vowed to investigate a number of hot-button issues. This includes everything from the southern border crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic to the Biden family’s business dealing t0 much more. A number of hearings are already scheduled for next month.
The Oversight committee is scheduled to hold an organizational meeting on Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday, it will hold its first full committee hearing, which will focus on coronavirus relief funding.
It is not known for sure what the final makeup of the Oversight committee will be. Reports indicate that Democratic leadership is in negotiations and is expected to decide on the final roster early in the week.
Bringing “celebrity” to the committee
Comer, in a recent, interview suggested that having Ocasio-Cortez on the committee might be a good thing because of her “celebrity,” which could help to bring media attention to what the committee is doing.
Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, has said that she expects “to have a lot of fun” on the committee.
Of course, [Republicans are] going to be calling hearings on horrible things, but our job is to protect the people and protect the vulnerable communities that they seek to attack. [I]t gives us an opportunity and a platform to de-legitimize a lot of the disinformation that they’ve been advancing.