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AOC Takes Swipe at Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal: Lack of 'Diversity' Among Negotiators

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is responding to a photo of President Joe Biden and senators taken after they reached a deal on infrastructure. She says the lack of diversity “perfectly conveys which communities get centered and which get left behind.”

“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),” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Thursday.

As Fox News notes, “It wasn’t clear if any of the Senate’s 11 current members from racial or ethnic minority groups (eight of them Democrats, three of them Republicans) were among the 11 other negotiating senators who did not appear in the photo with Biden.”

Biden announced on Thursday that a deal was reached with a bipartisan group of senators on an infrastructure package, as IJR reported.

“This deal means millions of good jobs and fewer burdens felt at the kitchen table and across the country,” Biden said at the White House. “But it also signals to ourselves and to the world that American democracy can deliver, and because of that it represents an important step forward for our country.”

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Ocasio-Cortez continued, “This is why a bipartisan [package] alone isn’t acceptable. The exclusion [and] 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 [and] low income, or women, or poc communities, or unions, etc. We must do more.”

She added:

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

Biden told reporters at the White House on Thursday that he will not sign the bipartisan infrastructure deal if a reconciliation bill is not passed by Congress.

“I expect that in the coming months this summer, before the fiscal year is over, that we will have voted on this bill, the infrastructure bill, as well as voted on the budget resolution,” the president said. “But if only one comes to me, this is the only one that comes to me, I’m not signing it. It’s in tandem.”

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Biden received pushback from Republicans, including from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who told Politico, “If he’s gonna tie them together, he can forget it I’m not doing that.”

Graham added, “That’s extortion! I’m not going to do that. The Dems are being told you can’t get your bipartisan work product passed unless you sign on to what the left wants, and I’m not playing that game.”

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