AOC says her colleagues ‘don’t even read the bills they’re commenting on’

‘Frankly, I’d be embarrassed’ said the New York congresswoman

Helen Elfer
Wednesday 28 July 2021 21:25
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defends costly progressive policies
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US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has accused some of her colleagues of not reading the bills they commented on during a Capitol hill hearing.

She was speaking to the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday about a public banking bill she introduced last year with Representative Rashida Tlaib, reports Business Insider.

"When I first got to Congress, I thought, man, people definitely study what they’re talking about here," she said. "Then I got here and realized that people don’t even – a lot of my colleagues don’t even read the bills that they are commenting on," said Ms Ocasio-Cortez.

She said critics of her Public Banking Act were "making lots of statements that have nothing to do with the legislation", during Wednesday’s hearing.

"Frankly, you know, if I made comments that very publicly demonstrated that I didn’t read the legislation I was discussing, I’d be embarrassed, but that is an aside," Ms Ocasio-Cortez added.

A video clip of her comments was viewed almost 2 million times on Twitter by Friday.

The New York Democrat went on to make a case for the creation of public banks, saying they would offer services to low-income and marginalised communities that are disproportionately not served by the banking industry and are targeted by predatory lending and other discriminatory practices.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez also defended the legislation against critics, who argued a public banking option would be bad for market competition.

"Here on planet Earth, though, this bill is about providing a public option for financial services - an option, not a government takeover, right, Mr. Berlau?" she said. John Berlau is a senior fellow at the right-leaning Conservative Enterprise Institute, who testified in opposition to public banking. "This is not about a government takeover of all banking services in the United States."

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