"Squad" member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took aim at Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) for killing the Biden administration's expensive Build Back Better bill and the Senate, which she claims "operates like an old boy's club."
The progressive lawmaker demanded a crackdown on the "privileged" male-majority Senate that "has a couple of gals that have managed to break through."
"It is unconscionable the way the Senate operates. It's fundamentally undemocratic," Ocasio-Cortez said Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." She pressed for internal change with enforcing "institutional discipline."
She cited "certain reforms that can be made within the culture of the Senate" that paints the institution as "very entitled, very privileged, and very protected."
"And say we are not going to allow that deference to membership just because of the self-importance of the institution," Ocasio-Cortez stated in the segment.
The congresswoman pivoted to further claim that the chamber of Congress is "allowing the stripping of people's voting rights across the country."
"We are in a crisis..." Ocasio-Cortez declared. "We are beyond the time for something to pass. And my concern is that even Manchin's compromise—or the fact that he was making statements just this past week that he was just having conversations with the parliamentarian about voting rights that were illuminating."
Breaking away from party ranks, Manchin announced Sunday on Fox News that he will not support Biden's signature bill while negotiations were ongoing.
"This is a mammoth piece of legislation. And I had my reservations from the beginning when I heard about it five-and-a-half months ago," Manchin told Fox News Sunday interim host Bret Baier over the weekend.
While pointing to inflation and skyrocketing product prices, Manchin also said he "cannot take that risk with a staggering debt of more than $29 trillion and inflation taxes that are real and harmful to every hard-working American at the gasoline pumps, grocery stores, and utility bills with no end in sight."
"The American people deserve transparency on the true cost of the Build Back Better Act," the moderate Democrat leader said Sunday.
Ocasio-Cortez referenced Manchin's on-air opposition to the Democrat Party's pricey agenda, stating that senators wanting to block legislation should make their stance known on the Senate floor—not appear on Fox News and threaten to do so.
"The idea that Joe Manchin says he can't explain this back home to his people is a farce. It's a farce in terms of plain democracy. I represent just as many or more people than Joe Manchin does," Ocasio-Cortez voiced on the cable news network.
Lambasting the West Virginia senator's effective "no" on the bill, Ocasio-Cortez said that it's difficult to hold together a House majority with razor-thin margins.
Ocasio-Cortez also urged President Joe Biden to take executive action on the administration's $1.75 trillion social spending legislation, calling on the president to be more "forceful" with the filibuster and "lean...on" executive authority.
"It takes the president of the United States, who I believe needs to be more forceful on the filibuster. He needs to also lean, I believe, on his executive authority and say if you're going to get in the way, we're going to find other ways to do this," she said.
Ocasio-Cortez was the not the only Democrat politician or pundit to react with outrage and disbelief over Manchin's eyebrow-raising announcement.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki fired back with a blistering statement alleging that Manchin had reversed course and betrayed Biden in a "breach" of prior commitments to pass the multi-trillion dollar budget proposal.
Ocasio-Cortez also commented on Manchin's alleged "betrayal" to the party's top brass, maintaining that trusting the senator from the outset was a mistake.
"The president did say that the Build Back Better Act was promised and that he’s got it. We said ... No one can really promise a Manchin vote," she stated.
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