Lately, freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has found herself on the receiving end of some harsh rebukes. While she is no stranger to criticism, those leading the charge this time may come as somewhat of a surprise.
This is because it is actually members of Ocasio-Cortez’s own Democratic party who are leading the attacks against her.
The problem, as is often the case, revolves around money. During her time in office, Ocasio-Cortez has managed to raise millions of dollars, outpacing her Democratic colleagues.
Now, usually, congressional members hand over $250,000 of their funds to, in this case, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which helps to get Democratic candidates elected to the House. This is known as paying one’s dues.
Ocasio-Cortez, however, has refused to pay her dues — of her millions, she hasn’t handed over one cent, and this is what has gotten under the skin of some of her colleagues.
A bad teammate
Rather than keep the matter private, some congressional Democrats have come forward to voice their displeasure with Ocasio-Cortez.
“Sometimes the question comes: ‘Do you want to be in a majority or do you want to be in the minority?’” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) told Fox News. “And do you want to be part of a team?
This was a rather mild admonition when compared with one another unnamed congressman had to say.
“Deadbeat Cortez should pay her bills,” Fox News reports the anonymous source as saying. “She’s always whining about people paying their fair share and here she is leaving her friends with the bill.”
To be clear, paying one’s dues is not mandatory, as DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos pointed out when asked about Ocasio-Cortez’s decision not to participate: “That’s always up to individual members so I guess I don’t think about it one way or another,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez has explained that there is a “myriad of reasons” why she refuses to hand money over the DCCC. This includes that not agreeing with the DCCC’s “policy around blacklisting groups that help progressive candidates.”
Rather, Ocasio-Cortez says she prefers “to help frontline members by putting that money straight into their pocket.”