'Hell no': Ocasio-Cortez denounces Pelosi-approved vote on McConnell's border bill without new protections for migrant kids

'Hell no': Ocasio-Cortez denounces Pelosi-approved vote on McConnell's border bill without new protections for migrant kids
NBC News
Human Rights

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.

"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:

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:

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.

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:

"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:

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."

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