House Democratic leaders this week passed over New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and other new progressive firebrands for memberships on powerful committees, despite a viral campaign by liberal activists.
Although it is historically rare for freshmen members of Congress to obtain sought-after seats on top committees, progressive groups said they saw the news as a setback, as they hope to enact sweeping environmental and economic reforms in the coming years. The Steering and Policy Committee, chaired by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, formally assigns members to committees.
The new Democrats have arrived with more than a little fanfare. Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old self-described Democratic socialist, has repeatedly come up short in her efforts to tangle with senior Democrats in her first days in office — even as her social media following and positive media coverage remain virtually unmatched.
As for Tlaib, 42, she apologized earlier this week for causing a “distraction” by calling President Trump a “motherf—er” and promising to impeach him.
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