Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez already has plans to defy Pelosi

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez already has plans to defy Pelosi

Khanna was the first Democrat to say Wednesday that he wouldn't vote for the bill, dubbing it "terrible economics".

Pelosi and the soon-to-be House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern announced on Tuesday that the House will vote on a new rules package for the 116th Congress later this week, something every Congress does.

The decision by Ocasio-Cortez is an early signal that the incoming lawmaker won't be shy about using her vote and social media megaphone - she already has more than 1.7 million followers on Twitter - to oppose Pelosi when she considers it necessary.

"PAYGO isn't only bad economics, as Ro Khanna explains; it's also a dark political maneuver created to hamstring progress on healthcare [and] other [legislation]", the she tweeted.

During a portion of an interview with NBC's Savannah Guthrie released on Wednesday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) vowed there will be no money given to fund President Trump's border wall. "We shouldn't hinder ourselves from the start".

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"Tomorrow I will also vote No on the rules package, which is trying to slip in #PAYGO".

Although Pelosi said in a statement afterward that "we welcome the presence of these activists", the episode highlighted a growing rift between establishment Democrats and up-and-coming politicians such as Ocasio-Cortez and Khanna, who each unseated longtime party incumbents.

Drew Hammill, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, responded to criticism of the pay-go rule by noting how a federal law signed under President Barack Obama mandates across-the-board cuts to other programs if new deficit-increasing legislation is enacted. "Critical investments in education, infrastructure, and health care should not be held hostage to budgetary constraints that Republicans have never respected anyhow". Other notable provisions include reviving the "Gephardt rule", which automatically raises the debt ceiling when the House passes a budget.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted against "paygo" which is a policy meant to keep government spending far too much by instituting revenue increases to offset any new spending, or "pay as you go". Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, has become a star on the left for her pugnacious attitude in advancing liberal causes. The threat to derail Pelosi's bid to retake the speaker's gavel forced her to strike a deal with rebel Democrats in December to limit her speakership to three terms, pledging to bow out in 2022.

The rules package needs 218 votes to pass.

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