House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday named eight Democrats to the new special climate change committee, but freshman lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrats face full legislative plate and rising tensions McCarthy on Dems' spending bill: 'The amount of money we spent to win World War II' On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda MORE (N.Y.) was not among them.
The panel, which is charged with examining climate change and steps to mitigate it, will include lawmakers with a wide range of tenures. Three of those Democratic members will be freshmen, and Ocasio-Cortez said she turned down an offer from Pelosi to be on the committee.
The Democratic members are Reps. Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciEnd the practice of hitting children in public schools How we can end the tragedy of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' MORE (Ore.), Julia BrownleyJulia Andrews BrownleyCongress can make progress on fighting emissions with Zero Food Waste Act House passes veterans contraception, LGBTQ business bills previously blocked by GOP Overnight Defense: Tucker Carlson comments cause military rage | Capitol guard duty questioned | Vet who served in Marine One unit charged in insurrection MORE (Calif.), Sean CastenSean CastenSchumer pledges climate action amid Democratic divide Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden urges climate action amid Ida devastation Advocates push White House to nominate energy regulator MORE (Ill.), Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanOvernight Energy: Infrastructure bills could curb emissions by 45 percent, Democrats say Democrats could push for Arctic wildlife refuge drilling reversal in reconciliation Lawmakers from both parties push back at Biden's Aug. 31 deadline MORE (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), A. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinNearly 200 House Democrats call for focus on clean energy tax credits in reconciliation End the practice of hitting children in public schools Political disenfranchisement is fueling environmental injustice MORE (Va.) and Joseph Neguse (Colo.).
"It has never been more clear that climate change is the existential threat of our time, and one that is particularly pressing for my generation," Neguse, one of the freshmen on the panel, said in a statement Thursday. "We must take bold action on the climate crisis now in order to preserve this world — not only for my generation, but also for every generation to come, like that of my six-month-old daughter."
Ocasio-Cortez said at a press conference Thursday that Pelosi had invited her to sit on the panel.
Even before Democrats won the House majority in the November midterm elections, Pelosi made clear she wanted to resurrect the special climate committee that she established when Democrats previously controlled the chamber, 2007 to 2011. At that time, the panel was called the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, chaired by then-Rep. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch Facebook draws lawmaker scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens MORE (D-Mass.).
Pelosi disappointed many progressives, including Ocasio-Cortez, when she said the new panel would not have the power to advance legislation or issue subpoenas. Instead, it can only make recommendations to other committees.
That decision was made after veteran Democrats on other panels, like Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHouse Democrats ramp up probe of FDA approval of Alzheimer's drug Intercept bureau chief: Democrats dropping support of Medicare for All could threaten bill's momentum House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 MORE (N.J.), objected to a powerful select committee.
Pelosi previously named Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorFacebook draws lawmaker scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Democrats seize on 'alarm bell' climate report in spending plan push Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Cities a surprise refuge for wildlife MORE (D-Fla.) to be chairwoman of the committee.
Republican members of the panel have not yet been named. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyThompson says he hopes Jan 6. committee can complete work by 'early spring' Juan Williams: Shame on the anti-mandate Republicans White House debates vaccines for air travel MORE (R-Calif.) is responsible for picking the five GOP lawmakers.
Politico first reported Pelosi's appointment of the Democratic members.
After Democrats won the House majority in November, Ocasio-Cortez emerged as an outspoken advocate for combating climate change and pushed for the forthcoming select committee to be focused on formulating a Green New Deal that would move the country toward 100 percent renewable electricity.
She and Markey, now a senator, introduced a nonbinding resolution Thursday to support a Green New Deal.