AOC Rips Biden Infrastructure Deal: All-White Bipartisan Negotiators Benefit ‘Structural Racism’

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks with supporters during an event outside Union Station June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. Ocasio-Cortez, joined by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-NY) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), called for increased federal funding for high-speed rail in the infrastructure package being discussed …
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Thursday slammed the all-white bipartisan Senate infrastructure group’s lack of diversity after President Joe Biden announced his support for the group’s nearly $1 trillion proposal.

Ocasio-Cortez lamented in a tweetstorm:

The diversity of this “bipartisan coalition” pretty perfectly conveys which communities get centered and which get left behind when leaders prioritize bipartisan dealmaking over inclusive lawmaking (which prioritizes delivering the most impact possible for the most people). This is why a bipartisan pkg alone isn’t acceptable. The exclusion & denial of our communities is what DC bipartisan deals require. That’s how you get GOP on board : don’t do much/any for the working class & low income,or women, or poc communities, or unions,etc. We must do more.

That’s why folks can sometimes come across as careless when saying “well isn’t something better than nothing?” For many communities, their not having a seat at the table is a precondition for bipartisan deals to work in the 1st place. & that’s not only seen as normal, but valued. Meanwhile, when representatives of excluded communities object to the exclusion &marginalization required to make many bipartisan deals work, they’re dismissed as “unreasonable.” So who/what often benefits from this type of bipartisan dealmaking? Corporations & structural racism.

This is not to say that any/all bipartisan deals are bad but it’s to ask people to actually read what’s inside them instead of assume bipartisan=good “Isn’t something better than nothing” assumes that none of the individuals involved agreed to harmful policies. A huge assumption.

Earlier Thursday, Biden endorsed the bipartisan framework negotiated by 10 senators and backed by over 20 senators across both parties, declaring outside the White House, “we have a deal.”

The proposal allots $550 billion for fresh spending on roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects, according to Politico.

The talks were spearheaded by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

During his remarks, Biden stated that  “serious compromises” were made by both parties.

“No one got everything they wanted in the package,” Sinema added. “We all gave some to get some.”

Despite today’s announcement, it remains unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will support the agreement.

“All parties understand, we won’t get enough votes to pass either unless we have enough votes to pass both,” Schumer has said of a potential package.

It is also unknown whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will back the agreement as well as sources tell Politico that she has previously stated, “There ain’t no infrastructure bill without the reconciliation bill.”

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