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AOC, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley seated on Oversight Committee

Spots for the progressive freshman signal future fireworks in investigative hearings

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., will join the House Oversight Committee. (CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., will join the House Oversight Committee. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new crop of progressive freshman has been seated on the House of Representative’s investigative committee — signaling future fireworks and higher C-SPAN ratings for its hearings this year.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. — who all tack to the left and have shown an appetite for aggressively challenging the White House and corporate interests — have been tapped to join the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday night.

“Detroit is in the house, so you know it’s going to be [fire],” Tlaib tweeted when the committee released the news.

Rep. Ro Khanna, an outspoken progressive and a sophomore, is also on the roster of Democrats joining the committee.

“Our Committee is the primary investigative body in Congress, and we will address the issues that affect the American people every day while we root out waste, fraud, and abuse,” committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said in a statement.

With Democrats now in the majority, the committee will be able to compel testimony and subpoena documents in order to investigate a range of issues. That includes potential violations of the emoluments clause by President Donald Trump and the child separation crisis.

The day before the 116th Congress was sworn in, the oversight committee nixed “government” from its official name to emphasize that its jurisdiction extends to the private sector. The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is now the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

“We could look at anything,” Cummings stressed on CBS’ “60 Minutes” last week. “Anything.”

The committee has already been filling out its schedule: 

  • Jan. 29: A hearing is scheduled on prescription drug prices. 
  • Feb. 6: A hearing is scheduled on a campaign finance and lobbying overhaul (HR 1).
  • Feb. 7: A hearing is scheduled with Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer for who has been convicted of campaign finance violations.

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