Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) urged her Democratic colleagues to abandon what she suggested were futile talks with Republicans, noting that they cannot know how long the party’s majority in the Senate may last.
The story: In a tweet on Wednesday, the New York congresswoman suggested that an untimely death among Democrats in the Senate could cost the party its majority in the upper chamber, including before the 2022 midterm elections.
“During the Obama admin, folks thought we’d have a 60 Dem majority for a while. It lasted 4 months. Dems are burning precious time & impact negotiating w/GOP who won’t even vote for a Jan 6 commission. McConnell’s plan is to run out the clock. It’s a hustle. We need to move now,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
The congresswoman was likely referring to the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA). The late Massachusetts lawmaker died in August 2009, while former President Obama was in office, the Washington Examiner noted. His seat was temporarily filled by another Democrat until Republican Scott Brown won a special election to complete Kennedy’s term.
This marked a premature end to the filibuster-proof majority Democrats held at the time as they dropped to 59 seats, one seat short of the needed 60 to pass legislation in the upper chamber.
How we got here: The congresswoman’s remarks came after President Joe Biden ended negotiations with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) for the president’s infrastructure package. The administration said they simply could not find comment ground on how to fund the plan and agree on the package’s spending.
Capito said that the Republican group worked to meet Biden halfway on the initial requirements he laid out in their first meet but that his staff later backtracked.
“But we were writing to what the president said he would negotiate to, and that’s where I think we had miscommunication there…we understood what the president was saying in that initial meeting, and from there on we kept getting further apart,” she told Fox News.
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