AOC rips all-White infrastructure coalition, calls for ‘inclusive’ over ‘bipartisan’ lawmaking

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ripped the bipartisan group of senators who reached an infrastructure deal Wednesday, saying their lack of diversity “perfectly” conveys the need for more “inclusive” lawmaking.

The New York Democrat retweeted an image of the bipartisan group of senators who negotiated an infrastructure deal with the White House Wednesday, including Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, and Mark Warner, and Republican Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy, Rob Portman, and Mitt Romney.

“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),” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

“This is why a bipartisan pkg alone isn’t acceptable,” she continued. “The exclusion & denial of our communities is what DC bipartisan deals require. That’s how you get GOP on board: don’t do much/any for the working class & low income, or women, or poc communities, or unions, etc. We must do more.”

“That’s why folks can sometimes come across as careless when saying ‘well isn’t something better than nothing?’” she wrote. “For many communities, their not having a seat at the table is a precondition for bipartisan deals to work in the 1st place. & that’s not only seen as normal, but valued.

“Meanwhile, when representatives of excluded communities object to the exclusion &marginalization required to make many bipartisan deals work, they’re dismissed as ‘unreasonable,’” she added. “So who/what often benefits from this type of bipartisan dealmaking? Corporations & structural racism.

“This is not to say that any/all bipartisan deals are bad but it’s to ask people to actually read what’s inside them instead of assume bipartisan=good,” she concluded. “’Isn’t something better than nothing’ assumes that none of the individuals involved agreed to harmful policies. A huge assumption.”

President Biden said Thursday that both sides made “serious compromises” on formulating an infrastructure deal that would see $1.2 trillion in spending over eight years, including $579 billion in new spending over the first five years.

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