Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the progressive Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday who immediately pushed back after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a decision to vote on a border funding package approved by the Senate—controlled by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—that includes none of the suggested provisions designed to end the separation of families and the abusive treatment of immigrant children.
"History will not look fondly on this moment." —Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)"Under no circumstances should the House vote for a McConnell-only bill w/ no negotiation with Democrats," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after the vote was announced.
"Hell no," she added. "That's an abdication of power we should refuse to accept. They will keep hurting kids if we do."
According to The Hill:
House Democrats will vote Thursday on a clean Senate-passed bill to address the border crisis, marking a blow to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and liberal members who had demanded additional protections for migrant children.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a border lawmaker, announced the plan as he emerged from an emergency meeting in Pelosi's office. And other lawmakers said Democratic leaders are already whipping the $4.6 billion Senate proposal.
Ocasio-Cortez, however, appeared furious and said that neither McConnell nor President Donald Trump could be trusted:
This Senate Bill will have us write a $4.6 Billion blank check (incl military $) for the border w NO accountability - just a verbal pinky promise.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 27, 2019
Trump is not to be trusted with protecting our immigrants. Why must that even be stated? We need hard lines of protection, in ink. https://t.co/xFci23pFo6
Earlier this week, it was Ocasio-Cortez—along with Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)—who stood firmly against giving Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) any additional funding until the separation of families and the illegal detention of children were brought to an end.
As The Hill reports, it was Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), a leader of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, who told Pelosi Thursday morning that he had rallied enough moderate Democrats to take down the rule on the amended House bill.
In response, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, expressed outrage at Gottheimer and other right-wing Democrats:
Since when did the Problem Solvers Caucus become the Child Abuse Caucus? Wouldn't they want to at least fight against contractors who run deplorable facilities? Kids are the only ones who could lose today.— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) June 27, 2019
With Congress soon headed for a July 4th recess, Ocasio-Cortez said it was wrong to rush through a vote without adding amendments to the bill that would insert protections for children and their families.
We have time. We can stay in town. We can at LEAST add some amendments to this Senate bill. But to pass it completely unamended with no House input? That seems a bridge too far.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 27, 2019
Congresswoman Tlaib cited the fact that the vote passage of the Senate version included yes votes from a number of Democrats—a fact said she will not be forgotten when next year's election arrives:
We won't forget in #2020. The bill that the Senate passed (with Dem support!!) does not treat this as a humanitarian crisis, but instead writes a blank check to the very administration that caused this crisis. #ForJakelin #CloseTheCamps pic.twitter.com/NBJzbF76rh— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) June 27, 2019
"Senate Dems put us in a terrible position," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Senate version of the funding bill, she said, "does absolutely nothing to hold a rogue administration accountable for cruelty. It has no provisions to ensure $$ goes to the children or that for-profit agencies are held accountable. I am a giant no vote on that bill."
Congresswoman Omar also weighed in:
Let’s be clear, we can’t cosign these horrendous xenophobic policies of family separation, metering, and Remain in Mexico. That is what we are ultimately doing with this vote.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 27, 2019
History will not look fondly on this moment.
Call your member and ask them to vote NO!
Ezra Levin, co-director of the progressive advocacy group Indivisible, suggested it was ridiculous of Pelosi to agree to the vote even as she gives President Donald Trump a free pass on impeachment proceedings and McConnell has shown no inkling of caving to Democrats on any of their key legislative items.
"Pelosi, who is blocking Judiciary impeachment proceedings," said Levin in a tweet, "now unilaterally caves to McConnell's demands on the bad immigration bill. Not clear why she was so eager to become Speaker - seems happy acting like a Minority Leader."