Incoming Socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is shooting for the stars.
The young progressive star from New York told The Hill that she is asking to be on a couple of the most powerful, sought-after committees in the House of Representatives, despite the fact that she’s a freshman who hasn’t had her first official day on the job yet.
Ocasio-Cortez, who many see as the ideological leader of the growing progressive wing of the Democratic Party, indicated that gaining a seat with great influence early on rather than sitting back and getting experience first — like many junior members and senators do — is part of her strategy to “spread things out” and get her “buddies all over the place.”
Which top committees is she aiming for?
Not the Appropriations committee, she said. But she does really want to get on the House Financial Services Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, Politico reported.
Both committees are powerful and highly sought-after. Financial Services deals with banking, currency, and affordable housing, as well as D.C.’s relationship with Wall Street. Energy and Commerce deals with environmental issues, energy production, and health care.
Those are areas Ocasio-Cortez has frequently shared her liberal, Socialist opinion on. Universal health care, increased environmental regulations, 100% renewable energy sources in the U.S. within a few decades, a federal jobs and housing guarantee, tuition-free college, and college debt forgiveness have been part of her platform.
She’s been frequently asked, though, how she plans on having taxpayers cover the enormous costs of her huge programs. Asked how she’ll find the $40 trillion needed in the next decade, Ocasio-Cortez said simply that her programs would save money. Even CNN was not satisfied with that answer.
Asked again by Univision’s Jorge Ramos how America will be able to afford Ocasio-Cortez’ dream, the best answer she could give was, “You just pay for it!”
The freshman understands that her committee wishes are a bit “pie in the sky,” but she told The Hill, “I think that with our district we can be ambitious, so we’re kind of swinging for the fences on committees. I figure that we might as well ask for something big.”
“The way I truly feel is that so many of these committees are doing important work — all of these committees are doing important work. So no matter what committee we get on, we’ll be able to deliver a lot of impactful change,” she added.
Watch her brief interview below: