Yahoo reports U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will co-chair a climate change panel for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, giving him a prominent liberal voice that could help garner his party’s full support.
Ocasio-Cortez, who had backed fellow liberal U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ bid for the Democratic nomination, will co-head the climate policy group Biden had set up in collaboration with his one-time rival Sanders, his campaign confirmed on Wednesday.
The panel’s other co-chair will be former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, a Biden ally who helped architect the Paris climate accord when he was President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State.
The Democratic rising star has been a polarizing figure among conservatives and within her own ranks. She is known for backing a “Green New Deal” plan that would attempt a faster transition away from fossil fuels and more government intervention than Biden had embraced as a candidate for his party’s nomination.
Ocasio-Cortez has said she expects to ultimately support Biden’s candidacy but wanted to see him refine his stances on several issues.
“She believes the movement will only be successful if we continue to apply pressure both inside and outside the system,” a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement late on Tuesday.
Per NYPost, Ocasio-Cortez, speaking to National Public Radio last Thursday, warned against rushing to judgment and urged due process regarding Tara Reade’s claim that the Democratic presidential hopeful sexually harassed her while working as an aide for Biden in 1993.
“There have been investigative journalists that have corroborated certain aspects of her account — that is undeniable — [and] have raised questions about other aspects of her account,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
But the freshman progressive lawmaker also acknowledged that it appears “something” happened between Biden and Reade, who has claimed he pinned her against a wall and reached under her skirt before assaulting her. Biden has repeatedly “unequivocally” denied the allegations.
“It certainly seems as though something has happened,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I’m not sure. Frankly, this is a messy moment, and I think we need to acknowledge that — that it is not clear-cut.”
Ocasio-Cortez, 30, said it appears Reade — who told her ex-husband about the allegations, according to a 1996 court document obtained Thursday — wants to get her story out.