Socialist Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has finally found a tax-and-spend bill that she doesn’t like.
The outspoken progressive was the only Democrat to vote against the $1.7 trillion pork-infused “omnibus” bill that Congress rammed through before Christmas, but true to form, she opposed it because it had too much funding for immigration enforcement.
AOC rejects omnibus
Ocasio-Cortez, known for her efforts to “abolish ICE,” pointed out that the bill does not include an amnesty for illegal immigrants known as “dreamers” after a bi-partisan effort failed. She also cited a hike in defense spending, breaking with Democrats who have taken a hawkish stance on the war in Ukraine.
“I campaigned on a promise to my constituents: to oppose additional expansion and funding for ICE and DHS — particularly in the absence of long-overdue immigration reform,” she said.
“For that reason, as well as the dramatic increase in defense spending which exceeds even President Biden’s request, I voted no on today’s omnibus bill.”
The other 200 “no” votes were all Republicans, who had loudly protested moving on the bill before they take the majority in January. Only nine House Republicans voted yes including Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who are both leaving Congress next week.
Is that right, AOC?
Most Republicans blasted the omnibus, which came in at 4,000 pages, as a wasteful bundle of pork, rammed through at the last possible minute by lawmakers who could not possibly have had time to read or debate its contents.
Despite AOC’s characterization, right-wing critics of the bill said it prioritized other countries, especially Ukraine, over America’s national interest in border security.
In voting no, AOC briefly joined “MAGA Republicans” with whom she is often at odds, like Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)
“Ukraine gets economic development, agriculture, and border patrol. We get racial equity mandates for us here at home,” Gaetz tweeted.
The omnibus set aside another $45 billion to aid Ukraine, while prohibiting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from using any money to “acquire, maintain or extend border security technology and capabilities.”
The bill also does not include an extension of the Trump-era Title 42 policy, without which an unprecedented border surge is expected.
Nevertheless, 18 Republican senators helped pass the bill, including Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY ), who gave his blessing citing the funding for Ukraine.
Many will recall that the government shut down when Congress refused to grant Trump’s request for $5 billion to build his border wall.