Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the all-white group of senators who came to a bipartisan agreement on an infrastructure package pointing out the group’s lack of diversity and arguing the deal excluded marginalized communities.
“The diversity of this ‘bipartisan coalition’ pretty perfectly conveys which communities get centered and which get left behind when leaders prioritize bipartisan dealmaking over inclusive lawmaking (which prioritizes delivering the most impact possible for the most people),” the Progressive Democrat tweeted alongside a photo of the group of lawmakers with President Joe Biden outside the White House on Thursday.
The diversity of this “bipartisan coalition” pretty perfectly conveys which communities get centered and which get left behind when leaders prioritize bipartisan dealmaking over inclusive lawmaking (which prioritizes delivering the most impact possible for the most people) https://t.co/U6bqd9o51C
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 24, 2021
“The exclusion & denial of our communities is what DC bipartisan deals require. That’s how you get GOP on board: don’t do much/any for the working class & low income, or women, or POC communities, or unions, etc. We must do more.”
Ocasio-Cortez has noted in the past that communities of color have been left behind and ignored is typically what allowed the bipartisan deal to get done.
The bipartisan group that agreed on an infrastructure package included Republicans Mitt Romney (Utah), Rob Portman (OH), Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), and Lisa Murkowski of (AK). The Democratic senators included Joe Manchin (W.V.), Jon Tester (MT), Mark Warner of (VA), Jeanne Shaheen of (NH), and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ).
The group’s $1 trillion package included $579 billion in new spending dedicated to physical infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, broadband access, and public transit. However, it excludes Biden’s plans to fund childcare, paid family leave, and free community college.
Ocasio-Cortez isn’t the only Democrat upset with the deal including Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“There ain’t going to be an infrastructure bill unless we have the reconciliation bill passed by the United States Senate,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday.
Senate Democrats plan to bring forth the other parts excluded from the infrastructure package the reconciliation, which allows the bill to pass on a party-line vote.
Ocasio-Cortez also attacked Republicans for blocking the For The People Act, saying “a minority of Senators” shouldn’t be able to “block voting rights for millions of people.”