Dem lawmaker praises Ocasio-Cortez for her 'spunk'

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonOvernight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Jan. 6 panel says it is reviewing Milley actions Democrats must stop using Jan. 6 committee to advance its witch hunt  MORE (D-Miss.) praised progressive freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezConservative group files ethics complaint over Ocasio-Cortez appearance at Met Gala If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE (D-N.Y.), saying he glories "in her spunk."

Thompson said on Wednesday that the Democratic Party as a whole could use more “young and talented” lawmakers like Ocasio-Cortez.

“For AOC, I glory in her spunk because we need young, talented people,” Thompson told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons during an interview that aired on "Rising."

Thompson added that he thinks the various skirmishes within the Democratic Party are “healthy,” citing the last thing they need is a party “where everyone agrees.”

Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman to be elected to Congress in November, months after she shocked the political world by upsetting 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D) in New York's 14th District.

Even though Congress has been traditionally white and male, the 116th Congress made history with a record number of both women and minority lawmakers.

The number of African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic lawmakers are at new highs.

The freshman class also boasted a number of historic firsts. This includes the elections of Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels Democrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan 'Squad' members call on Biden to shut down Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarEnough with the GDP — it's time to measure genuine progress Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats eye potential carbon price in reconciliation bill 'Squad' members call on Biden to shut down Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota MORE (D-Minn.), the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

Thompson said the freshman class is a “melting pot of America manifesting itself" and a sign that the party is "maturing." He also emphasized that diversity is a strength, not a weakness, for the Democrats. 

“It’s the maturing and broadening, rightfully so, of the Democratic Party and a recognition that our diversity is our strength,” he told Hill.TV.

— Tess Bonn