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AOC Takes Brave, Lonely Stand Against 'Unconscionable' Covid-19 Relief Package That Doesn't Sufficiently Help Those Hurt the Most

"We are so grateful for the unapologetic moral clarity and political courage," said Sunrise Movement, questioning when House Democrats will "use their leverage to fight for us."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks on the House floor on April 23, 2020.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks on the House floor on April 23, 2020. (Screengrab: C-SPAN)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the sole Democrat to vote against a $484 billion coronavirus relief package passed Thursday, a move that earned her progressive praise for being "the conscience of the caucus right now." 

The legislation in question, known colloquially as COVID 3.5, easily passed the chamber in a 388 - 5 vote and is headed to President Donald Trump's desk. Ocasio Cortez said the measure failed to address the needs of working families and those most affected by the coronavirus crisis. 

"My concern is that we are giving away the farm," Ocasio-Cortez, whose New York district has been ravaged by the coronavirus, told reporters after the vote. "I cannot go back to my communities and tell them to just wait for CARES four because we have now passed three, four pieces of legislation that's related to coronavirus. And every time it's the next one, the next one, the next one, and my constituents are dying."

The youth-led Sunrise Movement welcomed Ocasio-Cortez's nay vote. "We are so grateful for the unapologetic moral clarity and political courage of @AOC in this moment," the group said on Twitter, adding, "When will @HouseDemocrats use their leverage to fight for us?"

"This package is not enough," Sunrise said. "We need a #PeoplesBailout that will #PutPeopleFirst."

Indivisible also praised the freshman lawmaker's vote. Echoing Ocasio-Cortez, Indivisible called the latest legislative package not a win but rather "an abdication of Congress' responsibility to meet the moment that we're facing as a nation."

Ahead of the vote, Ocasio-Cortez outlined her opposition to the measure in a floor speech.

"We have to fight to fund hospitals, fighting to fund testing. That is what we're fighting for in this bill," she said. "It is unconscionable. If you had urgency, you would legislate like rent was due on May 1 and make sure we include rent and mortgage relief for our constituents."

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