Ocasio-Cortez pushes for progressive ‘sub-caucus’

New York Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez advocated in a recent podcast interview for the creation of a new, smaller progressive “sub-caucus” as voting bloc in Congress.

“The thing that gives the caucus power is that you can operate as a bloc vote in order to get things done,” Ocasio-Cortez told Daniel Denvir, host of Jacobin’s “The Dig” in an interview that published last week. “Even if you can carve out a sub-portion, a sub-caucus of the progressive caucus, even if you could carve out that, even a smaller bloc, but one that operates as a bloc, then you can generate real power.”

Ocasio-Cortez suggested the creation of a “sub-caucus” smaller than the existing Congressional Progressive Caucus which has 78 members. She expressed concern that the caucus’ size prevents it from voting together and holding a strong message.

“If you can even carve out a caucus of 10, 30 people it does not take a lot, if you operate as a bloc vote, to really make strong demands on things,” she said on the podcast.

When Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary in June against incumbent and senior Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, the Democratic party faced new questions about its leadership and direction. Though she holds some similar policy positions as other members of the Democratic caucus, some of her other positions have forced the establishment to consider more liberal policies after her victory. Ocasio-Cortez self-identifies as a democratic socialist.

Ocasio-Cortez has publicly withheld her support of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for speaker if Democrats take back control of the House after the fall’s midterms.