Ocasio-Cortez criticizes bipartisan infrastructure deal for lack of diversity among negotiators

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) criticized the bipartisan infrastructure proposal shortly after President Biden confirmed the deal Thursday, condemning the lack of diversity among the Senate negotiators.

“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),” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet, along with a photo of the 10 lawmakers in the negotiating group, all of whom are white.

Biden on Thursday, alongside the group of senators made up of five Democrats and five Republicans announced that an infrastructure deal had been reached between the two parties after weeks of negotiations.

Ocasio-Cortez, along with other prominent progressive lawmakers, previously expressed disappointment with the proposal, arguing that it failed to include a number of key Democratic policy proposals.

Ocasio-Cortez, after the deal was announced, claimed that bipartisan deals in Washington require “exclusion and denial of our communities.”

She argued that the way to attract support among GOP lawmakers is to not “do much/any for the working class & low income, or women, or poc communities, or unions,etc.”

“We must do more,” the progressive lawmaker wrote, adding that “a bipartisan pkg alone isn’t acceptable.”

The president, when announcing the agreement, acknowledged that the deal does not include all the provisions he had hoped for but nonetheless said the agreement was “really important,” while praising its bipartisan nature.

“I think it’s really important, we’ve all agreed that none of us got all that we wanted. I clearly didn’t get all I wanted. They gave more than I think maybe they were inclined to give in the first place,” Biden said at the White House, joined by the 10 senators.

“But this reminds me of the days we used to get an awful lot done in the United States Congress, we actually worked with one another,” Biden said, putting his hand on Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) shoulder. “Bipartisan deal means compromise.”

Biden said he now plans on continuing to look for a larger spending package that can be passed through budget reconciliation, allowing Democrats to pass the measure with a simple majority vote, which Ocasio-Cortez called for in her tweet.

The agreed infrastructure framework includes $579 billion in new spending for a total of $973 billion over five years and roughly $1.2 trillion over eight years.

It allocates $312 billion for transportation programs, including roads, bridges, airports and electric vehicles infrastructure. The remaining $266 billion will go to water infrastructure, broadband, environmental remediation, power infrastructure and other areas.

To finance the package, which was a chief sticking point between the parties throughout the negotiations, the agreement proposes to reducing the tax gap, redirecting unused unemployment insurance relief funds and repurposing unused funds from COVID-19 relief legislation.

It also includes proposal like allowing states to sell or purchase unused toll credits for infrastructure, extending expiring customs user fees and 5G spectrum proceeds.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Joe Biden Rob Portman

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