Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the lone Democrat in Congress to oppose the $1.7 trillion federal spending bill
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the lone Democrat to vote against the $1.7 trillion spending bill.
- Ocasio-Cortez said she could not support legislation that significantly increases funding for ICE and DHS.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York on Friday became the lone Democrat in Congress to oppose a sweeping $1.7 trillion bipartisan spending plan that otherwise largely passed along party lines.
Ocasio-Cortez said she opposed the legislation because it included "dramatic increases in surveillance, border patrol forces, and militarized spending after years of deeply disturbing conduct."
"I campaigned on a promise to my constituents: to oppose additional expansion and funding for ICE and DHS — particularly in the absence of long-overdue immigration reform," Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement of the bill's provisions regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security. "For that reason, as well as a dramatic increase in defense spending that exceeds even President Biden's request, I voted no today on the omnibus bill."
—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) December 23, 2022
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, an Ocasio-Cortez ally and fellow "Squad" member, voted "present." The spending plan passed the House 225-201-1, sending it to President Joe Biden's desk. Biden quickly promised to promptly sign the legislation, which would avert a government shutdown and fund the federal government through most of next year.
While largely a spending bill, the omnibus package included a number of other policies, one of the more significant changes would allow Americans to save longer for retirement. There's also more than $44 billion in aid for Ukraine as it continues to repel Russia's invasion. Other major provisions include significant changes to a 135-year-old law that governs how Congress certifies presidential elections and a ban on the use of TikTok on government phones.
While McConnell touted the legislation, the bill significantly divided Republicans. Just 28 Republicans in either chamber, including McConnell, ended up voting for the bill. Former President Donald Trump had urged the GOP to block the bill. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is hoping to become speaker next year, argued that the GOP should have waited until the party retakes the chamber.
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