House

Ocasio-Cortez: ‘I truly do not’ believe Pelosi snubbed me on climate change panel

Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Thursday she does not feel Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) snubbed her by not putting her on a new special climate change committee

“I truly do not. The Speaker was gracious enough to invite me on it,” Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive firebrand who began her congressional tenure last month advocating for significant shifts in climate policy, said on MSNBC when asked if she felt Pelosi had snubbed her.

{mosads}She maintained that while she was offered a spot on the high-profile committee, her existing positions on other panels would have hindered her ability to fully engage on the select committee.

“So we announced our committee assignments. I did not know if I was going to be asked or selected for the select committee at that time, so I wanted to maximize my standing committee assignments. So, I was able to get on financial services, which is one of just a handful of exclusive committees that freshmen almost never get on, and I’m on the environmental subcommittee of oversight, which is also a very high-profile committee,” she said, adding that she was on another four subcommittees. 

“I would have to give up doing my job well, is how I feel, and I don’t want to give that up.”

The select committee is tasked with examining climate change and steps to mitigate it, though it will not be able to introduce legislation itself. Its members include lawmakers with a wide range of tenures, including three freshmen.

The Democratic members are Reps. Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.), Julia Brownley (Calif.), Sean Casten (Ill.), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), A. Donald McEachin (Va.) and Joseph Neguse (Colo.).

“This new Select Committee will spearhead Democrats’ work to develop innovative, effective solutions to prevent and reverse the climate crisis,” Pelosi said in a statement. “It will generate the energy and action required to permanently reduce pollution so that we can honor our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations.”

Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a new climate change resolution Thursday that seeks to codify the progressive “Green New Deal” and push the U.S. to take a lead role in reducing carbon emissions through the economy.

“Whereas, because the United States has historically been responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through 2014, and has a high technological capacity, the United States must take a leading role in reducing emissions through economic transformation,” the resolution reads.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Donald McEachin Ed Markey Jared Huffman Julia Brownley Nancy Pelosi Sean Casten Suzanne Bonamici

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