House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a newly created committee targeting economic disparity, in an apparent olive branch following tensions between the caucus leader and the ‘Squad’ of progressive Democrats.
Pelosi unveiled the new Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth at a press conference in DC on Wednesday, saying it will study ways to reduce economic disparity.
The speaker said Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, will focus on ‘addressing generational disparities and increasing worker power in the economy.’
Ocasio-Cortez will join seven other Democrats on the panel, including Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, the Progressive Caucus chair, whose focus will be ‘delivering workers better wages and a brighter future.’
Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut will chair the committee, with Pelosi saying in a Dear Colleagues letter that he brings ‘extensive professional experience from the private sector and in affordable housing.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a newly created committee targeting economic disparity
Pelosi said that AOC will focus on ‘addressing generational disparities and increasing worker power in the economy’
At the press conference, Ocasio-Cortez spoke out on the subject of inflation, saying that the Federal Reserve should revisit its assumptions about the relationship between inflation and unemployment.
The Fed manages inflation by raising interest rates, and tries to reduce unemployment by lowering rates.
For nearly a year, the Fed has held interest rates near zero and flooded the economy with money through bond purchases, and inflation data in recent weeks has flashed troubling warning signs.
‘We should probably revisit some of the basic macroeconomic assumptions about the U.S. economy and not take for granted that inflation is due to one thing or another, or that full employment is impossible in the United States of America,’ Ocasio-Cortez said.
‘And I believe that’s been reiterated at the White House with very promising assertions and ambitious goals and trying to make sure that every American has a dignified job,’ she added.
‘We should probably revisit some of the basic macroeconomic assumptions about the U.S. economy,’ said AOC at the Capitol Hill press conference
The committee appointment follows the latest controversies for Ocasio-Cortez, who is among the most left-wing members of Congress and does not shy from sharing her views, and tensions between Pelosi and the Squad.
Last week Rep. Ilhan Omar triggered outrage by comparing the U.S. and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban among those who have committed ‘unthinkable atrocities.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib blasted Pelosi and Democratic leadership for a statement they put out Thursday saying Omar was fomenting ‘prejudice’ by comparing the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.
‘Freedom of speech doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. The benefit of the doubt doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress,’ Tlaib tweeted two hours later. ‘House Democratic leadership should be ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color.’
Omar’s comments that the US and Israel were committing similar ‘unthinkable atrocities’ to terrorist groups sparked a fierce internal battle between members of the progressive wing and senior leaders.
Omar accused her critics within the Democratic Party of whipping up ‘Islamic hate against her’ after they complained she was comparing atrocities committed by American and Israeli troops with those of terrorist groups.
Joining the new committee will be (L-R) Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Angie Craig, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rep. Sara Jacobs, as well as Rep. Pramila Jayapal (not pictured)
And earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez made headlines in a feud with a right-wing commentator, refusing the $104,000 he raised to help her ‘abuela’ in Puerto Rico after the congresswoman blamed Donald Trump for the neglected state of her relative’s home.
AOC tweeted two pictures of grandmother Clotilde Rivera’s ruined ceiling with the words: ‘Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill. I went to Puerto Rico to see her – my 1st time in a year+ bc of COVID.
‘This is her home. Hurricane Maria help hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR….And for the record – my abuela is doing okay. It’s not about us, but about what’s happening to Puerto Ricans across the island.’
DailyMail.com tracked down 81-year-old Clotilde’s home to a quiet community just outside the picturesque coastal city of Arecibo.
A woman who said she was Ocasio-Cortez’s aunt refused to blame Trump for thousands of Hurricane Maria victims being unable to get money to repair shattered homes, instead saying that corruption on the island was holding up relief.
‘It’s a problem here in Puerto Rico with the administration and the distribution of help. It is not a problem with Washington. We had the assistance and it didn’t get to the people,’ said the relative, who refused to give her name.