Nancy Pelosi elected House speaker
The California Democrat clinches fourth term as House speaker; Fox News congressional correspondent Chad Pergram has the latest.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced new committee assignments Tuesday, including several far-left "Squad" members and like-minded Democrat freshman representatives.
"Squad" members Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan will now be on the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The newly elected Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri will join them on that committee, and freshman Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York will be on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
"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," Pelosi said in a statement. "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."
Additionally, the first two openly gay members of Congress, the newly-elected Reps. Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones, both of New York, received assignments as well. Torres was named to the House Homeland Security Committee and Jones to the House Education and Labor Committee.
"I am honored to be appointed to the House Committee on Homeland Security. When it comes to homeland security, as goes New York City, so goes the rest of the country," Torres said in a statement following the announcement. Torres' district covers sections of The Bronx.
The assignments reflect a leftward shift among Democrats in Congress. Bowman, Bush, Ocasio-Cortez, and Tlaib all received endorsements from the Democratic Socialists of America.
In an October 2019 interview with City&State New York, Jones stopped short of calling himself a democratic socialist, but said he viewed himself as "sharing many of the same views as the democratic socialists."
Torres, despite being progressive, does not associate himself with the "Squad," and has been at odds with the Democratic Socialists of America, particularly when it comes to their views of Israel. Torres is pro-Israel, which has become increasingly rare on the left, with Tlaib and fellow "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota being vocal critics of the Jewish state.
"I came to observe that there are activists who have a visceral hatred for Israel as though it were the root of all evil," Torres, 32, told the New York Post in December. "The act of singling out Israel as BDS [the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement] has done is the definition of discrimination."
Torres also denounced Democratic Socialists of America leadership regarding their position on Israel after an interview New York City DSA co-chair Sumathy Kumar gave.
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"The leadership of the DSA declines to affirm that the state of Israel should exist. ‘Insane’ is the word that comes to mind," he tweeted in August.
Torres also disagreed with democratic socialists over the "defund the police" movement, which he opposed, according to the Post.
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