Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned on Wednesday if the leaders of her party assigned her to the committees that she requested in order to keep her from focusing on other issues.
“I was assigned to some of the busiest committees and four subcommittees. So my hands are full,” Ocasio-Cortez said during an interview with The New Yorker Radio Hour. “Sometimes I wonder if [Democratic leadership is] trying to keep me busy.”
Ocasio-Cortez was placed on both the Financial Services and Oversight and Reform committees after she lobbied leadership for a seat on both. House rules limit members from serving on two top tier committees, such as those to which she was assigned, unless they receive a special waiver.
Members of the New York congressional delegation pressed Democratic leadership to grant Ocasio-Cortez’s appeal for the prestigious committee assignments, according to The Hill.
“I kind of just put it out there and tried to see if leadership was receptive,” she told reporters in January, referring to her prominent committee requests.
The New York congresswoman’s contention that Democratic leadership is trying to keep her busy comes on the heels of a public spat with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi dismissed Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow progressive congresswomen as “four people” who “didn’t have any following” while speaking to The New York Times on Sunday. The freshman Democrat immediately took to Twitter defending her constant social media presence as how she “actually achieve[s] meaningful change in this country.”
Pelosi reportedly scolded the progressive members of her caucus during a closed-door meeting on Wednesday.
“You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it,” Pelosi said. “Do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just ok.”
Ocasio-Cortez revealed to The New Yorker that the last time she spoke with the Speaker one-on-one was when she declined Pelosi’s invitation to serve on the Select Committee on Climate Change.
“I had made very specific requests, which I thought were rather reasonable.” Ocasio-Cortez said. The self-proclaimed “radical” rejected Pelosi’s offer after Democratic leadership refused to change the committee’s rules to suit her demands.
“I think sometime people think that we have a relationship,” she added.
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