Having changed her ‘no’ vote to ‘present’ at the last minute on a $1 billion bill to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system the day prior, AOC took to Twitter on Friday with a vast, 900-word missive attempting to justify the move to her constituents. While she stated the bill “should have been opposed,” she went on to argue that it was brought to the House floor through a “deeply unjust” and “reckless” legislative process.
“To those I have disappointed – I am deeply sorry. To those who believe this reasoning is insufficient or cowardice – I understand,” the congresswoman wrote.
The sight of a distraught and teary-eyed Ocasio-Cortez on the House floor as the vote was underway has made the rounds online, though it was not the rep’s first public crying exhibition. Addressing the incident, AOC claimed that she “wept at the complete lack of care for the human beings that are impacted by these decisions,” as well as “at an institution choosing a path of maximum volatility and minimum consideration for its own political convenience.”
Ocasio-Cortez further pointed out that the legislation was rushed through the chamber “without any of the usually-necessary committee debate, markup, or regular order.”
The statement left many of AOC’s critics, and even some supporters, scratching their heads, with many noting that despite its length, the congresswoman did not actually address her ‘present’ vote, instead issuing a “weak” and “barely comprehensible” non-explanation.
“Seriously, I still don’t know why she voted ‘present,’” wrote one observer, while another said the statement contained “Zero about why you changed your vote. That’s not transparency.”
Other detractors went further, some accusing the Democrat of helping to fund “apartheid” in Israel despite her regular declarations of solidarity with the Palestinians. While AOC spent the first portion of her statement listing reasons why the $1 billion military aid package should not have passed, and ended it with a call to support “the human rights of Palestinian people,” many critics struggled to reconcile those comments with her ultimately neutral vote.
“Seems weird to be like this bill is completely terrible and I fully oppose it, therefore my official response is: neutral,” another commenter wrote.
AOC also found supporters, with some insisting her critics were attempting to “harass” the lawmaker, while one attempted to boil down her 900-word explanation to “she didn’t have time to talk with her constituents about” the vote.
The House passed the Iron Dome bill by a wide margin on Thursday, with 420 reps voting ‘yes’ and only nine in opposition. While AOC initially cast a ‘no’ vote, she abruptly switched to ‘present’ just before the vote was finished, following the lead of fellow Democrat Hank Johnson (Georgia).
Among the ‘no’ votes were eight Democrats – including other members of the progressive ‘Squad’ – as well as libertarian-leaning Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, the sole Republican to oppose the bill, which replenished the Israeli missile system after clashes with Palestinian militants in Gaza earlier this year.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
© 2021, paradox. All rights reserved.