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

Business Insider | Jan 11, 2019, 06.52PM IST

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was not chosen to sit on the House Committee on Ways and Means.

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez missed out on a crucial finance committee appointment on Thursday.
  • The spot on the House Committee on Ways and Means went to Tom Suozzi, a Democrat more conservative than Ocasio-Cortez.
  • The committee oversees most of the US economy, including Medicare funding, a key part of Ocasio-Cortez's platform.
  • Ocasio-Cortez's representatives said she "hoped to be on it, but we're excited to see what committees she does get."

Top Democrats have Congress kept Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez off a prominent finance committee she had hoped to use to advance her progressive agenda.

Nancy Pelosi's Steering and Policy Committee on Thursday gave the spot on the House Committee on Ways and Means to Tom Suozzi, a Democrat more fiscally conservative than Ocasio-Cortez.

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, however, that she was "certainly not" upset by the decision.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Ocasio-Cortez was "certainly not upset" by the decision, her representative said. Here, she fixes her hair on her first day in Congress on January 3, 2019.

The committee oversees most of the US economy, 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.

Two of the 29-year-old's key manifesto pledges, Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, needs the committee's approval to become law.

First-year members of Congress are rarely given seats on high-ranking committees. However, representatives from New York City - where Ocasio-Cortez's district is - usually have at least one reserved seat on the Ways and Means committee.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Ocasio-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, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Democratic Socialists of America supported her appointment, The Hill reported.

Read more: Meet Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the millennial, socialist political novice who's now the youngest woman ever elected to Congress

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