AOC Flashes Contention In New York With Vote Against Infrastructure Bill

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) joined with five other members of the House Progressive Caucus Friday evening in voting against Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The bill passed with the help of 13 Republicans who voted in favor. While she touted her “no” vote as a protest against Democratic leadership’s failure to present the “Build Back Better” budget reconciliation spending bill in tandem with the infrastructure bill, many New Yorkers were upset with her decision.

Ibrahima Sidibe is a Democrat New York City resident who said that AOC should “think about the people who voted for her.” Ibrahima described the floods following Hurricane Ida last year that affected many parts of the district AOC represents in the Bronx and Queens. The bill passed on Friday includes funding for sewer and drainage construction designed to help control flooding.

Ocasio-Cortez stated that passing the infrastructure bill harmed the chances of passing the much larger and more controversial budget reconciliation bill. She also said that she believed the vote “locked-in” an increase in America’s “climate emissions.”

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) added to the criticism of AOC. She represented parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn and was one of the 13 Republicans to vote for the infrastructure bill. Malliotakis said of AOC that she “did her district a disservice” because the bill benefits New York City “more than any other part of the country.”

Reps. John Katko (R-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY), and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) were the three other New York Republicans who broke away from the party majority to vote “yes” on the infrastructure bill. Blue-state New York is reported to receive up to $170 billion in spending from the bill.

AOC was blasted by some New Yorkers during her first term in Congress when she stood against an agreement that would have brought Amazon facilities to New York City. Although the deal could have brought up to 25,000 new jobs, AOC called the proposed tax incentives involved a “corporate giveaway.”