'The Squad' — a loose group of congresswomen comprising Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Ayanna Pressley — has been re-elected. The progressive stand of the four Democratic Congresswomen have made them nothing less than political celebrities among liberals, while they remained a target of right-wingers.
Last July, Trump told the congresswomen of color to "go back" to the "corrupt" countries they came from. The statement triggered controversy and strengthened their popularity. The four, who were elected first in 2018, have already been part of committees such as the financial industry, foreign affairs and the federal budget.
"The danger for Democrats in places like Ohio and the upper Midwest is that the Squad's willingness to embrace revolutionary terminology might make otherwise palatable and even attractive economic ideas appear threatening," Paul Sracic, a political science professor at Youngstown State University told Reuters.
Influence of 'The Squad'
Ocasio-Cortez has been vocal about her views on climate change. However, her views on 'Green New Deal' have not been well-received by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden but left an impact on Biden's environmental stand.
Meanwhile, Palestinian-American Tlaib gained popularity for her "Lift + Act" bill — which many claim to be similar to Martin Luther King Jr.'s radical economic principle of universal guaranteed income. Tlaib who is on the House Financial Services Committee, questioned and challenged bank chief executives last year, over their commitment to "clean and sustainable financing."
"These women have completely broken open the climate debate," Leah Stokes, a climate policy professor at University of California Santa Barbara told Reuters. "Had the Squad not been elected this would not be happening."
Following her 2018 win, Pressley became the first Black woman to represent Massachusetts in the House of Representatives. She is an ardent supporter of Medicare-for-all, stopping Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, increasing the minimum wage, and defunding the police — a call not supported by other Democrats.
Omar, the fourth member of 'The Squad' — arrived in the U.S. 25 years ago as a Somalian refugee. With her 2018 win, she made history by becoming the first Black Muslim woman, and first hijab-wearing woman to be elected to Congress. In 2016, she made another history by becoming first Somali-American elected to the Minnesota state legislature.