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Biden headache? After they vote her in as Speaker, Pelosi appoints ‘The Squad’ to a plum committee

On Sunday, Nancy Pelosi was re-elected speaker of the House. It wasn’t quite the gimme the San Francisco Democrat is accustomed to in past elections.

Pelosi got 216 votes – two more than were necessary to secure her win – and all from Democrats, since all Republicans backed their leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

A handful of those votes came from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the radical Democrats who make up “The Squad.” AOC’s support actually drew jeers from Republicans because just three weeks ago she told The Intercept that House and Senate Democrats needed new leaders. AOC’s beef was that the grip Pelosi and other longtime Dems have on their caucus strangles opportunities for younger, fresher lawmakers – say, AOC, for instance – from moving up the ladder.

Pelosi, however, may have just bought some loyalty from progressives who believe she caters too much to more moderate Democrats.

The New York Post reports that Pelosi assigned AOC and two other Squaders – Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, an original member who famously promised to impeach the “motherf—–” in the White House when she took office two years ago, and newly elected Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri – to the House Oversight Committee.

That panel is primarily charged with playing watchdog on the administration. The Post notes that both AOC and Squad member Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts were on the committee during the last session, but that its work has been overshadowed of late by the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, who oversaw Robert Muller’s Russian non-collusion probe and President Donald Trump’s call to Ukraine’s leader, which led to his impeachment.

But when Republicans ran the House and President Barack Obama owned the Oval Office, GOP lawmakers on the Oversight Committee investigated scandals such as Benghazi, the IRS denial of nonprofit applications for conservative groups, and Fast and Furious, Obama’s gun-walking venture into Mexico.

In a statement about her committee appointments, Pelosi said, “In the 2020 election, the American people overwhelmingly cast their ballots for a historically diverse and dynamic Democratic House Majority that will fight For The People. Reinvigorated by our outstanding Freshmen Members, strengthened by our returning Members and inspired by the people whom we are honored to represent, our Majority is ready to Build Back Better in a way that will advance justice and prosperity for all Americans. Our Committees, enriched by the addition of these Members, are ready to drive transformational progress.”

You can dismiss Pelosi’s claim about the voters “overwhelmingly” wanting “diverse and dynamic” Democrats. Entering Election Day, the GOP held 197 seats. Today, the claim 212 and coudl add one more if a Democratic incumbent in New York loses his bid to overturn the election results.

But Democratic radicals are seeking that “transformational progress,” and having the media-savvy AOC and her buds and on the Oversight Committee can help. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Bush were endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America.

AOC, according to the Post, said in a recent interview that “we have to push the Biden administration hard.” She was referring to canceling student loan debt. But that “push” could be expanded to include things like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Even if they don’t have a direct role in those policies, the Squad radicals on the Oversight Committee could gum up the administration in other ways, and given Biden’s willingness to accommodate the extremists in his party, it would not be surprising to see him cave to them in order to push his own agenda.

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