Ocasio-Cortez: Democrats need to to ‘crack down’ on ‘old boys club’ in Senate

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Monday called on Democrats to “crack down on the Senate,” which she likened to “an old boys club.”

The progressive lawmaker in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” slammed the chamber’s inability to pass voting rights legislation because of GOP-led filibusters.

Ocasio-Cortez has previously called on the Senate to abolish the filibuster, a move that moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have opposed.

“What we really need to do is crack down on the Senate, which operates like an old boys club that has a couple of gals in it that have managed to break through, and we need to actually institute some, we actually need implementing institutional discipline,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Monday.

“If people want to threaten to block ambassadorships, if they want to threaten dysfunction, they actually need to show up and do it, need to show up and do a talking filibuster, when — and by the way, that is a compromise because there shouldn’t even be a filibuster in the first place. And they need to really make sure that we are actually calling people to her threats,” she added.

The House has already passed the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, both of which have been stalled in the Senate because of GOP opposition.

“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough, a former GOP congressman from Florida, asserted that the Senate is “operating in bad faith” and does not want to pass voting rights. He pointed to a deal struck in the chamber between both parties that allowed for a one-time exemption of the filibuster to raise the debt ceiling earlier this month.

Ocasio-Cortez agreed with Scarborough’s analysis before knocking Republicans for threatening filibusters.

“This idea that again, over time, has switched from talking filibuster to now just being able to stand up and posture and make a threat, God forbid that they might actually have to show up and stand or sit and actually have to talk and actually live out the threat of their filibuster,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“It is unconscionable, the way that the Senate operates, it’s fundamentally undemocratic,” she added.

“We are in a crisis. Nineteen states have passed over 33 laws to limit or restrict the right to vote in the United States of America. We are beyond the time for something to pass. And my concern is that even Manchin’s compromise, or the fact that he was making statements just this past week that he was just having conversations with the parliamentarian about voting rights that were illuminating. How has this not happened all year long,” she added.

Ocasio-Cortez also said President Biden needs to “be more forceful on the filibuster” and lean “on his executive authority and say, ‘if you’re going to get in the way, we’re going to find other ways to do this,’ and it’s either you’re either with us or you’re not with us, but this train is moving and we need to govern because the United States House of Representatives is delivering an agenda for the people.”

“We cannot blame Mitch McConnell, and we cannot blame Joe Manchin either, because we have tools at our disposal with a trifecta,” she added.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Joe Biden Joe Manchin Joe Scarborough John Lewis Kyrsten Sinema Mitch McConnell

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