Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib said to join powerful House oversight panel

By Erik Wasson and John Harney

Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the outspoken New York socialist, has been named to the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which has promised heightened scrutiny of President Donald Trump and his administration, according to a Democratic aide.

The aide, who requested anonymity to discuss appointments before they were announced, said that Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who was recorded calling for Trump’s impeachment using a profanity, will also join the panel, as will Rep. Ro Khanna of California.

The three young liberals were selected by the Democratic steering committee, which determines appointments, the aide said. The chamber’s Democratic caucus has to formally approve the selections.

Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib won their offices in the election in November that gave Democrats control the House of Representatives.

Tlaib was caught on video on the day of her swearing-in telling supporters that Democrats were going to impeach the president, whom she referred to with a profane epithet.

Tlaib said she was not deterred by the criticism of that remark, and that her constituents would support her. “I’m here to work and be their voice. But I love the fact that my residents don’t expect me to be perfect, or that polished politician,” she said.

“They wanted somebody real and they have someone.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who has become a sensation among progressives after she defeated a Democratic incumbent last year, will also join the House Financial Services Committee, another influential body.

The Oversight Committee has an expansive jurisdiction, and Democrats now hold its extensive subpoena powers to force witnesses to testify and to obtain documents. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, is set to appear before the committee in a public hearing on Feb. 7.

The committee’s chairman, Elijah Cummings of Maryland, announced Tuesday that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will face questioning by the committee on March 14 about the decision to add a citizenship question to the census.