Ocasio-Cortez opens up about pressure in Congress: I often see lawmakers on the ‘brink of tears’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took to Instagram Monday night to open up about the “myths” surrounding working in Congress, writing that “I do see members on the brink of tears quite often.”

“As a member of Congress you’re not ‘supposed’ to talk about these things because it can easily be construed as complaining and detractors are quick to say ‘you signed up for this,’” she wrote in her Instagram story. “But I do see members on the brink of tears quite often because of the time they’re missing from their kids, or the lack of sleep, or the unfair attacks and relentless pressure.”

Ocasio-Cortez, 29, is the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress. Since taking office in January, she said she’s seen the effect the job has had on some of her colleagues.

{mosads}“I think one of the biggest myths about Congress is that it’s an easy job; or that the hours are light and that members don’t really work hard,” she wrote in an Instagram story. “It’s a really easy myth to believe, especially with Congressional approval ratings at an all-time low.”

According to the latest polling data from Gallup, 20 percent of respondents said they approved of the way Congress is handling its job, while 77 percent said they disapproved. The disapproval rate is the highest it’s been since May 2018, according to Gallup.

“If you’re really here trying to get stuff done — no matter your politics — it’s an extremely demanding job,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “It’s only ‘easy’ if you don’t do town halls, if you’re not trying to advocate or build coalitions or introduce and pass cutting-edge legislation.”

{mosads}She added, “Even members I completely disagree with who are advancing corporate interests still work overtime because it takes a ton of work to pass an agenda, no matter what it is.”

Because of public scrutiny, Ocasio-Cortez said it’s “nearly impossible” for members to be “honest about the pressures of this job,” she wrote.

“I share it not to complain, but to show you what it’s like because I want people watching this to someday try to have this job themselves + know what it’s like,” she wrote.

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