Progressive lawmakers — such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) — denounced the bipartisan infrastructure negotiations group for their race.
Members of the Senate from both sides of the aisle have been attempting to reach a compromise on an infrastructure bill. Last month, President Biden and the lawmakers unveiled the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework — a $1.2 trillion package that cuts spending unrelated to physical infrastructure, which was originally incorporated in Biden’s $2.7 trillion American Jobs Plan.
At the time, Ocasio-Cortez expressed disappointment over the lawmakers’ removal of expenditures on social programs. She told NBC News that “this is our one big shot, not just in terms of family, child care, Medicare, but on climate change.”
She also slammed the bipartisan group — which includes Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Joe Manchin (R-WV), and eighteen other legislators — for their shared Caucasian ethnicity.
“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),” tweeted the thirty-one-year-old lawmaker.
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) https://t.co/U6bqd9o51C
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 24, 2021
As The Daily Wire reported on Wednesday, the lawmakers have since ironed out remaining disagreements on the package and began advancing it through Congress. Ocasio-Cortez repeated her allegation that implicit racism played a role in the negotiations.
“A lot of times, ‘bipartisan agreements’ are just as defined by who people in power agree to exclude than include,” she tweeted.
A lot of times, “bipartisan agreements” are just as defined by who people in power agree to exclude than include. pic.twitter.com/9o4y3j60fD
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 29, 2021
“Is this the Bipartisan Infrastructure Group or the audience at a Kid Rock concert?” added Bush, along with the hashtag “#NegotiationsSoWhite.”
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) July 28, 2021
Beyond the infrastructure bill, Ocasio-Cortez has frequently attempted to find links between her colleagues’ votes and her colleagues’ racial identities.
After Congress’ approval of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, Ocasio-Cortez thanked the “plenty of wonderful allies” — namely, “the white men in the Republican caucus that said, okay, fine, we’ll vote for this” — who agreed with passing the measure. However, she linked the fourteen House Republicans who voted against the measure of being “pretty consistent with, I think, the Republican base.”
She also attempted to link the negative vote to Republicans “trying to fight against teaching basic history around racism and the role of racism in U.S. history” — presumably a reference to conservatives’ disagreement with critical race theory.