Government shutdown: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accuses Trump of 'hostage taking' over border wall demands

Comments comes as shutdown enters third week

Andrew Buncombe
Sunday 06 January 2019 19:29 GMT
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responds to college dance video controversy with a new dance

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic congresswoman with a penchant for dancing to Motown songs outside her office and generally antagonising Republicans, has accused Donald Trump of “hostage taking” in his demands for a border wall.

As the partial government shutdown entered its third week, and the president claimed it could last months of even years if he didn't receive the $5bn for a border wall, the 29-year-old New Yorker said this was not the way to do politics.

“If the GOP wants a wall so badly, they can try to propose and pass a bill like anybody else,” she tweeted. “Instead, they are seizing gov operations + innocent people’s pay until they get what they want.”

She added: “This is called hostage-taking And no one can compromise or negotiate with that.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive who became the youngest woman to serve in Congress after being sworn in last week, has received as many attacks from Republicans as she has plaudits from Democrats and independents.

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Last week, she responded to a video that emerged of her dancing as a student at Boston University in 2010 – an apparent attempt to smear her as she was sworn in – by posting her own video of her dancing outside her new office on Capitol Hill to the 1969 ant- song War, sung by Edwin Starr.

In the post, that quickly went viral, she wrote: “I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous. Wait till they find out congresswomen dance too.”

Over the weekend, veteran Republican operative Ed Rollins referred to the congresswoman as a “little girl”.

“If you’re going to put her out front with her mouth, which she now has attention she never did before and you are going to put the little girl who wants pre-Reagan economics of 70 per cent taxes, the Democratic women are basically going to be damaged,” Mr Rollins said on Fox News.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez was also quick to respond to this.

She tweeted. “GOP loves to insult my intelligence, yet offers *this* as their best + most seasoned opposition to my policy proposals.”

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