Freshman Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was the only House Democrat to vote against a bill to end the longest government shutdown in US history.
According to the Huffington Post, Wednesday, the social media savvy lawmaker chose to deviate from the rest of her party because she didn’t want to allocate any funding for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), after she had already called to eliminate it during her campaign.
In what was most likely an attempt to head off any negative spin from the media, the 29-year-old posted in a since-deleted Instagram story: “Most of our votes are pretty straightforward, but today was a tough/nuanced call. We didn’t vote with the party because one of the spending bills included ICE funding, and our community felt strongly about not funding that.”
“We were having conversations with our community after we voted for DHS [Department of Homeland Security] funding the first time,” Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Post after House votes. “We’re hearing back a lot from our local community and they’re uncomfortable with any vote on funding for ICE.”
Ocasio-Cortez had voted in favor of DHS funding in the past to reopen the government, but after hearing from her voters, now she plans to consistently be “a solid no for funding ICE at all,” spokesman Corbin Trent added.
This feedback from her constituents is understandable given that her Queens and Bronx district has a significant immigrant and Latino population that has already been feeling the pressure from ICE deportations.
Despite her dissent, the bill still passed 229 to 184, with only six Republicans voting in favor. If passed by the Republican-held Senate (which has it up for a vote today), the bill would fund the federal government through February 28.
Wednesday marked the 33rd day of the partial government shutdown and the 800,000 federal employees who have gone without pay during it will see their second missed paycheck on Friday.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) explains why she voted "NO" on Passage of H.J.Res. 28 [Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019] in a video posted to her Instagram story pic.twitter.com/DjpS7KcwVP
— Graham MacGillivray (@GWMacGillivray) January 23, 2019