U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., blasted congressional Republicans on Saturday for seeking a “bluff” vote on her proposed Green New Deal – a move that other Democrats have also derided as a political stunt.
“The GOP’s whole game of wasting votes in Congress to target others ‘on the record’, for leg [legislation] they have no intent to pass, is a disgrace,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Stop wasting the American peoples’ time + learn to govern. Our jobs aren’t for campaigning, & that’s exactly what these bluff-votes are for.”
The freshman Democrat has touted the Green New Deal as an effort to rid the U.S. of greenhouse gas emissions while generating millions of high-paying jobs. Ocasio-Cortez has called climate change a "generational" issue, describing it as "our World War II" for younger people.
Republicans have mocked the ambitious plan as socialism and cite its price tag that could reach into the trillions of dollars.
It has almost no shot of passing in the Senate, where it would need 60 votes to advance. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has scheduled a procedural vote on the plan for Monday, when senators will return after a one-week recess.
“Leader McConnell thinks the Green New Deal is just a resolution, but the Green New Deal is a revolution,” said U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., one the plan’s lead authors. “The Green New Deal has struck a powerful chord in this country, and it is igniting the movement of young people who are ready to make this the organizing issue for their generation.”
The legislation exists as a nonbinding resolution, which would not require the government to do anything. Democrats have yet to deliver details on how to implement the plan or pay for it.
By pushing for a vote, McConnell hopes to see how far Democrats are willing to go to align themselves with the party’s new progressive wing.
“Just a good old-fashioned, state-planned economy. Garden-variety 20th-century socialism,” McConnell said in a recent speech. “Our Democratic colleagues have taken all the debunked philosophies of the last hundred years, rolled them into one giant package, and thrown a little ‘green’ paint on them to make them look new.”
“Our Democratic colleagues have taken all the debunked philosophies of the last hundred years, rolled them into one giant package, and thrown a little ‘green’ paint on them to make them look new.”
Some Democrats said they plan to vote “present” on the resolution to signal their opposition to what they call a “sham” vote that seeks to quash public debate by blocking public hearings or expert testimony about the consequences of climate change.
In addition to Republicans, several major labor unions also oppose the deal.
In response to her tweet, some on social media mocked Ocasio-Cortez for being upset that her proposed legislation will get a vote.
“Seems odd to introduce legislation with lots of fanfare if you don’t want it to receive a vote?,” one user wrote.
“This has to be the first time a sitting congressperson has ever advocated for NOT holding a vote on their own ideas,” another tweeted in response.
“Someone seems weirdly upset that the Senate will be voting on their plan," another wrote.
“If planet is in a crisis and this serious proposal (totally not a stunt!) is the only plan to save it, you would think @AOC wd be: 1) thanking McConnell for scheduling a vote & 2) working to get votes to pass it. In fact, shouldn’t she be mad at Pelosi for not doing the same?,” one user tweeted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
As it attempts to hold and possibly expand upon its newly won congressional majority, the House Democrats’ campaign arm is planting an early marker in hopes of preventing primary challenges against sitting incumbents.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) – in a letter sent Friday to more than 100 political firms – clearly stated that it won’t work with, or recommend to House Democratic candidates, any vendors who help to oust incumbents.
“The core mission of the DCCC Is electing House Democrats, which includes supporting and protecting incumbents. To that end, the DCCC will not conduct business with, nor recommend to any of its targeted campaigns, any consultant that works with an opponent of a sitting Member of the House Democratic Caucus,” the committee spelled out in a memo obtained by Fox News.
It’s common practice for both the Democratic and Republican House and Senate re-election arms to protect incumbents running for re-election. But the DCCC’s memo, sent extremely early in the election cycle, is a clear signal to Democratic political firms that the millions in contracts dished out each election by the party committee’s independent-expenditure arm will be off limits to them if they work with insurgent candidates. And that could put a big dent in a primary challenger’s ability to take on an incumbent lawmaker.
The move could help moderate Democrats running for re-election in crucial swing districts, and even some controversial liberal lawmakers.
Among those behind the memo were moderate Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas and progressive firebrand Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, according to National Journal. Both lawmakers could face 2020 primary challenges.
In 2018 primaries, then-Rep. Michael Capuano of Massachusetts lost his bid for an 11th term in Congress to now-Rep. Ayanna Pressley. And socially conservative Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski nearly lost in his primary to progressive challenger Marie Newman. Both Newman and Pressley were helped in their bids by well-known political shops.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who’s become a nationally known progressive leader, defeated then-House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley running a low-budget campaign. She could face a primary challenge of her own in 2020. But she’s teaming up with a liberal group that helped her topple Crowley to now suggest a new round of primary challenges in 2020 against establishment House Democrats.
There’s a history of party committees warning political shops to stay away from primary challengers. Most recently, the House and Senate Republican re-election arms in 2014 cut off Jamestown Associates after the firm targeted GOP incumbents.
Source: Fox News Politics
The 29-year-old congresswoman used an obscure term to take a swipe at Trump toward the end of her appearance, when Meyers asked her about winning the second-place prize as a teen in her high school science competition.
“Science was my first passion,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “I studied microbiology and the impacts of antioxidants on a model organism known as the C. elegan, which is of the nematode family.”
Meyers compared Ocasio-Cortez’s interest in science to that of Trump, interjecting “I think he did that, too.”
“Because he’s a nematode?” she retorted while the crowd roared in laughter, comparing the president to the roundworms found as parasites in animals and plants.
“They’re trying to say that the Green New Deal is about what we have to give up, what we have to cut back on, when in fact the Green New Deal itself is a resolution to be more expansive,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
The massive climate change investment has been criticized for being too overreaching and too expensive.
The self-proclaimed democratic socialist became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress after defeating 10-term Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley in the primary and then winning in the November general election.
The politician turned bartender is a leader of the Democratic Party’s progressive wing and has managed to gain endorsements for her Green New Deal bill from Democratic 2020 hopefuls.
Fox News’ Joseph A Wulfsohn contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is officially a phenom.
Hey, the cover of Time magazine says so.
There’s little question that AOC has shrewdly used the media and the media have just as shrewdly used her – either as a young female heroine, for much of the mainstream press, or as a socialist target, for much of the conservative media.
President Trump has privately noted that Ocasio-Cortez "has it," that indefinable star quality – though he disagrees with her on almost everything. And like the president, AOC enjoys picking fights with the press – especially those nettlesome fact-checkers – which in turn generates even more coverage.
She’s already been on the cover of National Review, pilloried for her Green New Deal. And what member of Congress, after just three months in office, has gotten the coveted Time cover status?
Perhaps the magazine is just using her as clickbait, or newsstand bait, like everyone else.
Here’s the nut graph of the Time piece, justifying the extraordinary focus on her:
"She’s a young Hispanic woman, three cornerstones of the party’s electoral coalition. She’s a democratic socialist at a time when confidence in capitalism is declining, especially among progressive millennials. The issues she ran on — a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee, abolishing ICE — are animating a new generation of Democrats. She’s a political phenomenon: part activist, part legislator, arguably the best storyteller in the party since Barack Obama and perhaps the only Democrat right now with the star power to challenge President Donald Trump’s."
About the only thing keeping the pundits from swooning over her as a White House contender is that, at 29, she’s not old enough to run.
But the overcoverage can be justified in this sense: Ocasio-Cortez has become the face of the Democratic Party, perhaps even more so than Nancy Pelosi. Her supporters love the idea of a dynamic, Instagram-savvy, aggressively liberal change agent pushing the party establishment to the left. Her detractors love the idea of a self-described democratic socialist with huge spending plans representing a party that relied on more moderate candidates to win the House.
At the same time, the all-AOC approach misses the mark in vastly overstating her influence. Freshmen have little real power in an institution based on seniority. Pelosi hasn’t exactly embraced Ocasio-Cortez’s proposals. So she has the ability to drive a media debate, but not to call an oversight hearing or put a bill on the floor.
Still, Time says "she’s replaced Hillary Clinton as the preferred punching bag of Fox News pundits and Republican lawmakers, and the hits are taking their toll. Public opinion of Ocasio-Cortez has soured as she becomes better known; according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, 31 [percent] of Americans overall have a favorable impression of her, against 41 [percent] unfavorable — a 15-point swing since September. The same poll found that her popularity had increased with Democrats and nonwhites."
The Fox website yesterday played up a new ad that hits Ocasio-Cortez – from a Republican in a special House election in North Carolina.
The generally upbeat Time story acknowledges both the limits of her power and her controversial role in the party.
"Her Green New Deal proposal has driven policy debates on the left, but it has virtually no chance of becoming law anytime soon. Her allies plan to boost primary challengers to moderate and conservative Democrats, a push that Ocasio-Cortez has distanced herself from but one that has earned her the enmity of some colleagues. Many House Democrats resent her celebrity and worry it overshadows efforts to reach the moderate voters who propelled the party to the majority. Privately, some admit they’re also a little afraid of her."
Now that is fascinating. In other words, they’re not only worried about the image she projects, but some feel she’s too big for her freshman britches.
The dilemma is that while Ocasio-Cortez answers only to her district in Queens and the Bronx, other parts of the country are not as receptive to a hard-left message, even if it draws kudos online. One Democratic candidate in Michigan is quoted as saying her message is more important than winning elections — but you can’t change policy without winning office. (And he got clobbered in his race.)
Time dutifully notes that she is being partially blamed for Amazon withdrawing its second headquarters from Queens; that her office botched the Green New Deal rollout by posting an apocalyptic draft version; and that she’s the subject of an FEC campaign finance complaint that she calls bogus.
And given that she’s made some factual errors — not unlike the man in the White House — the magazine reminds us of what she told Anderson Cooper:
"I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right."
But your moral position is stronger when you traffic in actual facts.
Look, the fact that a woman who was recently a waitress and bartender is on Time’s cover is quite an achievement. It’s a bubble that may not last. But for now, AOC and the media are in a codependent relationship that benefits both sides.
Source: Fox News Politics
Leading Democrats have heaped praise on New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after the Kiwi leader announced her country was immediately banning "military-style semi-automatic weapons" after last week’s attack that killed 50 people at two mosques.
Ardern announced Wednesday the weapons would be banned in addition to "all assault rifles," among other firearms, adding that legislation is currently being drafted and she expects the law to take effect by April 11.
"We will ban all high-capacity magazines. We will ban all parts with the ability to convert semiautomatic, or any other type of firearm, into a military-style semi-automatic weapon," the prime minister said. "In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country."
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., were among the crowd of progressive voices who celebrated Ardern’s announcement, and they also used it as an opportunity to call for stricter gun control in the U.S.
“This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States,” Sanders tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez shared a video of Ardern announcing the ban, adding: “Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8.
“Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market.
“This is what leadership looks like.”
In response to Ocasio-Cortez, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch said: "That’s also what an entirely different country that doesn’t have the right to bear arms as a cornerstone of its constitution, in addition to numerous state laws. It’s also what confiscation and banning most semi-auto looks like, too."
The ban in New Zealand comes six days after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch. The massacre left 50 people dead and dozens of others injured.
Ardern said the man suspected of the attack bought his weapons legally with a standard gun license and modified their capacity by using 30-round magazines, "essentially turning them into military-style semi-automatic weapons."
The 28-year-old suspect bought the weapons "through a simple online purchase," she said, and "took a significant number of lives using primarily two guns."
The alleged shooter, whom Fox News is not naming, has been charged with one count of murder in the attacks, which became New Zealand’s deadliest mass shooting in modern history. He is expected to face additional charges at his next court appearance April 5.
Preparations are underway for a massive prayer service to be held Friday, with nearly 4,000 people expected to attend.
Source: Fox News Politics
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., charged on Tuesday that a selective New York public high school should have admitted more black applicants this year, saying their relatively low admit rate was an "injustice" and a "system failure" — although an objective state-mandated test is used to determine admissions decisions, and low-income Asian students took most of the spots.
In her fiery social media post, Ocasio-Cortez pointed to news reports that only seven black applicants secured offers of admission to Stuyvesant High School this year, out of 895 available slots.
"68% of all NYC public school students are Black or Latino," Ocasio-Cortez began. "To only have 7 Black students accepted into Stuyvesant (a *public* high school) tells us that this is a system failure. Education inequity is a major factor in the racial wealth gap. This is what injustice looks like."
The progressive New York Democrat cited a Monday New York Times report, which noted that the population of black students at Stuyvesant was seemingly decreasing: 10 were admitted in 2018, and 13 in 2017.
At the highly selective Bronx High School of Science, meanwhile, only 12 black students received offers of admission, compared with 25 in 2018.
But the report also mentioned several facts Ocasio-Cortez did not — including that "low-income" Asian students are a majority at New York City’s most selective schools. At Stuyvesant, for example, 74 percent of current students are Asian-Americans who performed very well on the admissions test, known as the Specialized High School Admissions Test, which is used by eight of New York City’s most selective high schools.
Approximately 19 percent of the students are white and 3 percent are Hispanic, according to school data.
The Times noted that state efforts to help students prepare for the test — including free test prep for minority students — have not helped change the admissions numbers in favor of black applicants.
"The numbers are abysmal; we knew that."
As a result, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last year called for a new admissions system to New York’s most prestigious schools, which would simply scrap that test, and instead ensure that top students from each local middle school received admissions offers.
“These numbers are even more proof that dramatic reform is necessary to open the doors of opportunity at specialized high schools,” de Blasio said, responding to the Times’ report.
In an op-ed last year, de Blasio elaborated: "Eight of our most renowned high schools – including Stuyvesant High School, Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School – rely on a single, high-stakes exam. The Specialized High School Admissions Test isn’t just flawed – it’s a roadblock to justice, progress and academic excellence. If we want this to be the fairest big city in America, we need to scrap the SHSAT and start over.”
He added: "Right now, we are living with monumental injustice. The prestigious high schools make 5,000 admissions offers to incoming ninth-graders. Yet, this year just 172 black students and 298 Latino students received offers. This happened in a city where two out of every three eighth-graders in our public schools are Latino or black. … Can anyone defend this?"
But his proposal to eliminate the test remains unpopular in New York. A spokesperson for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said only that there were "two sides" to the issue, and Jumaane Williams, the city’s public health advocate, told the Times that he opposed scrapping the test.
“The numbers are abysmal; we knew that,” Williams, who is black, told the Times. “The question is what do we do about it, how do we do it without needlessly pitting communities against each other?”
Asian-Americans, backed by the Trump adminstration, have increasingly challenged what they characterize as Democrats’ insensitivity to racism directed at them by institutions and individuals. In one closely watched case, the Justice Department last year filed court documents siding with Asian-American students who allege Harvard discriminates against them in its admissions process.
William Fitzsimmons, the 30-year dean of admissions at Harvard, who oversees the screening process of about 40,000 applicants and narrows them down to 2,000 acceptance letters that are handed out each year, testified during the trial that African-Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic high schoolers with mid-range SAT scores out of a possible 1600 combined math and verbal, are sent recruitment letters with a score as low as 1100, whereas Asian-Americans need to score at least 250 points higher – 1350 for women and 1380 for men.
"That’s race discrimination, plain and simple,” argued John Hughes, a lawyer for Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA).
Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., reportedly has been de-listed from the board of left-wing activist group Justice Democrats, following legal and ethical questions about her affiliation with the group.
The Daily Caller reported that Ocasio-Cortez, along with chief of staff and former campaign chair Saikat Chakrabarti, have been removed from the board of the political action committee after previously holding “legal control over the entity" in late 2017 and early 2018.
The Daily Caller had reported earlier this month on Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti’s role with the PAC, noting that the congresswoman never disclosed to the Federal Election Commission that they "controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign." Former FEC officials said at the time this could represent violations of campaign finance law.
It was Justice Democrats that helped catapult Ocasio-Cortez from obscurity to an upset primary win over then-Rep. Joe Crowley to an election win in November. The group runs a recruitment program by which activists can nominate grassroots candidates for office to challenge incumbent Democrats, and Ocasio-Cortez gave her support to that push in a video in January. The group has also backed her on issues such as "Medicare-for-all" and the Green New Deal.
The Caller reports that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti took control of Justice Democrats in December 2017, until Ocasio-Cortez was removed from the board in June 2018 — though she was kept on as an “entity governor” until last week. Both Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were only officially removed from the board on March 15, according to documents obtained by the outlet, almost eight months after attorneys had said she was removed.
The development is the latest in the controversy surrounding the left-wing firebrand’s campaign. Earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were accused in a Federal Election Committee complaint of violating campaign finance law by funneling nearly $1 million in contributions from PACs, including Justice Democrats, to private companies also controlled by Chakrabarti.
Although large financial transfers from PACs to private LLCs are not necessarily improper, the complaint argues that the goal of the "extensive" scheme was seemingly to dodge detailed reporting requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which are designed to track campaign expenditures.
The complaint was drafted by the conservative, Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) and alleged that the pair appeared to have "orchestrated an extensive off-the-books operation to make hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures in support of multiple candidates for federal office."
Her office denied wrongdoing. “There is no violation,” Ocasio-Cortez told Fox News after the report was filed. Asked if the complaint shows she was connected to "dark money" during the campaign, Ocasio-Cortez replied, “No, no.”
Chakrabarti also defended the set-up on Twitter, saying, "We were doing something totally new, which meant a new setup. So, we were transparent about it from the start."
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s unfavorable rating has spiked after just months in Congress, with most of the public viewing her negatively rather than favorably, a new poll shows.
The New York Democrat shot to fame amid the party’s lurch to the left and embracement of socialist policies such as the Green New Deal, yet the more people learned about the 29-year-old freshman congresswoman, the more they were turned off by her.
A Gallup poll released Friday shows that Ocasio-Cortez’s unfavorable rating has risen by 15 points since last September, when she had yet to win the general election, increasing from 26 percent to 41 percent of the American adults polled.
She has also managed to increase her favorability rating, but only by 7 points. About 31 percent of surveyed people view her favorably, compared to 24 percent in September.
Since September, Ocasio-Cortez became more widely recognized across the country, with half of the respondents saying they have never heard of her before. Now only a fifth of surveyed people says they aren’t familiar with the self-described Democratic socialist.
The poll notes that Ocasio-Cortez’s name recognition is growing compared to that of other politicians at the same point in their careers in Congress. More surveyed people know the New York Democrat than they knew Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz as freshmen.
Overall, the results suggest that Ocasio-Cortez may be a polarizing figure. Most of her support is galvanized around younger, more diverse Democrat-leaning groups, while most of her opposition is composed of Republicans and more conservative Democrat-leaning groups.
Nearly three-quarters of Republican respondents say they view her negatively, with only 5 percent having a positive view. Among the Democrats, 56 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Ocasio-Cortez, compared to only 15 percent of the Democrats polled who don’t support her.
She’s also favored by adults 18 to 34, people of color and women. Yet she’s facing a favorability deficit among men (-24), whites (-24), and adults 55 or older (-22).
Among self-described independents, she has a negative net rating of 5 percent.
Source: Fox News Politics
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to social media Friday to show her followers how she dealt with what she deemed a “boring” hearing.
The New York Democrat posted a video on Instagram showing she and Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., doing push-ups during a recess the day before.
“I admit, sometimes hearings get a little boring,” she wrote in her post. “We had a recess and I needed to get my head back in the game, so Rep. @jimmygomezca and I did some pushups to get the blood pumping.”
Ocasio-Cortez, wearing heels and a suit, can be seen going push-up for push-up with Gomez until the pair completed five repetitions.
Someone can be heard saying, “Alright, back to work” as Ocasio-Cortez stands up.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is also seen in the video cheering Ocasio-Cortez on.
“Don’t judge me, I def fell off the workout wagon and am trying to get back on again.” she added to her post.
It was not clear what specific hearing Ocasio-Cortez was taking an exercise break from.
Source: Fox News Politics
Mark Cuban has brushed off Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez’s recent claims about being able to wipe out student debt.
The billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks was responding to the Democratic representative’s suggestion that wiping out all student loan debts in the country would be cheaper than President Trump’s tax cuts.
“Cost of the GOP Tax Scam for the rich: $1.8-2.3 Trillion. Cost of forgiving all student loans in America: $1.5 Trillion. Clearly where there’s a will, there’s a way.
“When people say that there isn’t “enough” to do these things, what they mean is they don’t *want* to do them,” the Democratic star tweeted on Wednesday night.
Cuban cried foul on the claim Thursday, saying Ocasio-Cortez hadn’t taken into account one key factor.
“Unfortunately, if you just forgive loans without resolving why tuition is high in the first place, you have given schools carte blanche to raise tuition. Why wouldn’t they raise tuition if future loans will be forgiven too?” he tweeted.
“The better solution is to offer means-tested student loan repayments across the board and cap future loans per family, eliminating the easy money that leads to tuition increases.”
Ocasio-Cortez has backed tuition-free public college and the cancellation of all student loan debt.
Cuban’s comments came after he refused earlier this month to rule out entering the 2020 presidential race.
“I’m not ruling it out,” Cuban told Fox News via email. “But the tea leaves would have to align perfectly.”
The comments came after the “Shark Tank” star spoke to the New York Daily News following the Mavs game against the Brooklyn Nets.
When asked if he was going to get off the bench and enter the political game, Cuban said: “I haven’t decided anything yet. We’ll see what happens. It all comes down to how things play out.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty with what’s going on with the Mueller report, there’s a lot of things that have to be figured out before we know how 2020 is going to play out.”
Source: Fox News Politics