Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez secures powerful House committee seat that gives her a huge say over Wall Street

Ocasio cortezWASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 03: Member elect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) talks to fellow members of Congress during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol January 03, 2019 in Washington, DC. Under the cloud of a partial federal government shutdown, Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reclaimed her former title as speaker and her fellow Democrats took control of the House of Representatives for the second time in eight years.Win McNamee/Getty Images

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that she got a spot on the powerful House Financial Services Committee.
  • The committee has broad authority to oversee big banks and financial services in the US, and debate new regulations.
  • It is rare for freshman members of Congress like Ocasio-Cortez to get seats on high-ranking committees.
  • Ocasio-Cortez has called for big banks to be broken up in the past.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez secured a spot on the House Financial Services Committee, the powerful House group that oversees Wall Street.

Ocasio-Cortez confirmed her appointment on Tuesday night on Twitter, saying: "Financial Services is one of just four exclusive committees in the House. It oversees big banks, lending, & the financial sector."

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to sit on this committee as a freshman, and look forward to working under the leadership of @RepMaxineWaters!" she added.

maxine watersWASHINGTON, DC - June 27: Rep Maxine Waters, D-CA questions Dr Ben Carson, the Sec of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), testifies before a Congressional House committee in Washington DC. She also condemned the Trump Administration polices on housing. June 27, 2018.Patsy Lynch/MediaPunch /IPX/AP

First-year members of Congress are rarely given places on high-ranking committees like this one.

The Financial Services Committee has formal responsibility to oversee the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission. It has regular opportunities to interrogate top US financial officials.

The committee was crucial in the formation of the Dodd-Frank package of laws which dramatically reformed the US financial sector in the wake of the 2008 financial crash, and is named after former chairman Barney Frank.

Ocasio-Cortez added: "Personally, I'm looking forward to digging into the student loan crisis, examining for-profit prisons/ICE detention, and exploring the development of public & postal banking. To start."

She is also expected to advocate for higher scrutiny of financial firms, Bloomberg reported. She has rejected corporate campaign donations and called for big banks to be broken up in the past.

Read more: Wall Street should love the economic theory Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez backs - and that should worry the rest of us

Alexandria Ocasio CortezHollis Johnson/Business Insider

Ocasio-Cortez's appointment comes after she was left off the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees many parts of US economy policy including spending, taxes, and revenue.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Steering and Policy Committee offered the spot on the committee to New York Rep. Tom Suozzi, a 56-year-old, more fiscally conservative, Democrat instead.

Two key parts of Ocasio-Cortez's platform, Medicare for All and the "Green New Deal," would need the Ways and Means committee's approval to become law.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is running for president in 2020, is also expected to be given a place on the Financial Services committee, Bloomberg reported.

Read more: THE TRUTH ABOUT ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: The inside story of how, in just one year, Sandy the bartender became a lawmaker who triggers both parties

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