Ocasio-Cortez says Sinema wrong with defense of filibuster
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) pushed back Sunday on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Ariz.) defense of the filibuster on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded to an op-ed that Sinema wrote in The Washington Post on Monday in which the senator said that there would be “repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty, deepening divisions and further eroding Americans’ confidence in our government“ if the filibuster was nixed.
“It’s essentially an argument of saying, ‘Well, why do anything at all, in case something in the future may change it,'” Ocasio-Cortez told NBC News’s Chuck Todd, noting that certain Democratic legislation passed had not been reversed by Republicans.
“Frankly, here’s the thing, is that Democratic legislation, once enacted, is popular. Republicans have tried to gut Social Security. They’ve tried to reverse the ACA [Affordable Care Act],” Ocasio-Cortez said. “They’ve tried to claw back on legislation that has passed by simple majorities in the Senate, and they haven’t been able to because Democratic policies are popular, and once they are enacted, they are very politically difficult to undo.”
Ocasio-Cortez said that even if certain policies were reversed, having them for several years would be better than not having them at all.
“Our job is to legislate. Our job is to help people. Our job is to do as much as we can. And even if that’s the case, even if that is the case, wouldn’t it be better to get people health care and voting rights for three years instead of zero years, even if, even if you concede the point that I don’t even think is true in the first place,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) have both said that they are against getting rid of the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass legislation. The Senate is currently split 50-50.
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments come as President Biden and a group of Republican and Democratic senators announced on Thursday that they had reached a bipartisan deal on infrastructure. Biden said later that day that he would not sign the bipartisan deal unless a larger reconciliation bill was passed in tandem, catching some Republicans by surprise.
On Saturday, he attempted to walk back those comments after Republicans voiced their concerns that the bipartisan deal was being tied to the larger reconciliation bill, which would need only Democratic votes.
“The bottom line is this: I gave my word to support the Infrastructure Plan, and that’s what I intend to do. I intend to pursue the passage of that plan, which Democrats and Republicans agreed to on Thursday, with vigor,” Biden said in a statement. “It would be good for the economy, good for our country, good for our people. I fully stand behind it without reservation or hesitation.”