Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) castigated the Senate as an “old boys’ club” Monday before slamming Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin for coming out against President Biden’s $2 trillion Build Back Better spending package.
During an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the “Squad” member described the upper chamber of Congress as “very entitled, very privileged and very protected,” while the House “most reliably delivers the actual will of the majority of people.”
AOC also blasted Manchin (D-WV) for saying he couldn’t support the social spending legislation because he would be unable to explain the bill to his Mountain State constituents, calling that justification a “farce.”
“It’s a farce in terms of, you know, plain democracy, because I represent more — or just, just as many, or more people than Joe Manchin does, perhaps more,” she said.
In fact, West Virginia’s population is 1.79 million, while New York’s 14th Congressional District, which encompasses parts of the Bronx and Queens, is comprised of about 750,000 people.
However, Ocasio-Cortez saved much of her ire for the Senate’s legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass most legislation.
“God forbid they might have to actually show up and stand or sit and actually have to talk and actually live out the threat of their filibuster,” she said. “It is unconscionable the way the Senate operates. It’s fundamentally undemocratic.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez went on.
“We need to actually institute some — we need to implement some institutional discipline,” the lawmaker added before further accusing Manchin of stringing the White House and congressional Democrats along through months-long negotiations before declaring his opposition to the bill on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I think what Senator Manchin did yesterday represents such an egregious breach of the trust of the president,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“The Senate adjourned on Friday,” she added. “And then he waited until everyone was on vacation to say, ‘No, I’m not going to vote for this.’ He waited until there was a moment of minimal pressure, when he didn’t have to go back into the Senate, when all of this stuff was happening. This is a very calculated timing.”
After Manchin’s announcement, Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow House progressives railed against the West Virginian as well as Democratic leadership for allowing the social spending bill to be considered separately from a $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill, which the House passed and Biden signed into law last month.
On Sunday, Manchin told Fox News host Bret Baier that he couldn’t support the legislation because of the effects it would have on inflation and the $29 trillion national debt, as well as concerns over the surge of coronavirus cases because of the Omicron variant.
“I’ve always said this, Bret, if I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it,” Manchin said. ”And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t.”