Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has found yet another way to spend your money.
The 29-year-old former bartender has unveiled a new six-bill package of legislation titled “A Just Society.”
“A just society provides a living wage, safe working conditions, and healthcare. A just society acknowledges the value of immigrants to our communities. A just society guarantees safe, comfortable, and affordable housing,” says a page on her House website dedicated to the package. “By strengthening our social and economic foundations, we are preparing ourselves to embark on the journey to save our planet by rebuilding our economy and cultivate a just society.”
The package has six parts:
- “The Place to Prosper Act” would prevent year-over-year rent increases of more than 3%.
- “The Uplift Workers Act” would mandate that the Department of Labor to create a “worker-friendly score” considering factors such as paid-family leave, a $15 minimum wage and union membership.
- “The Mercy in Re-entry Act” would grant public benefits to those convicted of criminal offenses.
- The “Guarantees the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for All” Act does, well, just that.
- “The Recognizing Poverty Act” orders the Department of Health and Human Services “to adjust the federal poverty line” based on location.
- “The Embrace Act” would allow illegal aliens to claim the same welfare benefits as all U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.
“Our nation must recognize that our history — immigrants, enslaved peoples, and refugees built this country. We all do better when we create a just society that embraces our most vulnerable populations and paves a path to prosperity for all. This bill would ensure that all persons in need are eligible for the largest programs of the social safety net, regardless of their immigration status,” her website says.
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law … an individual who is an alien (without regard to the immigration status of that alien) may not be denied any Federal public benefit solely on the basis of the individual’s immigration status,” the Embrace Act reads.
Ocasio-Cortez defines a federal public benefit as “any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States; and … any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States.”
The Democratic socialist from New York acknowledges that the legislative package faces an uphill battle. “I don’t think there’s any shortage of obstacles that we have ahead of us, but I don’t think that we not do things just because they’re hard,” she told the New York Times last week. “In fact, sometimes the hard things to do are the most worthwhile.”
The package contains no cost estimates but another plan she put forward, the “Green New Deal,” has an estimated cost of $93 trillion over 10 years, according to the American Action Forum, which is run by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who directed the non-partisan Congressional Business Office from from 2003 to 2005.