- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the stakes of passing the Build Back Better Act are “really high.”
- She told the NYT that trust between progressives and their fellow Democrats depends on it.
- The $2 trillion social-spending bill passed the House Friday and now heads to the Senate.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said if the social-spending bill doesn’t pass, Democrats will struggle to earn the votes of progressives in the parry on votes in the future.
In an interview with The New York Times that was published Sunday, the New York congresswoman said the stakes of passing the Build Back Better Act are “really, really high.”
She said the reason the Progressive Caucus voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed and was signed into law this month, were promises from President Joe Biden, House leadership, and other Democrats. Some liberals voted for the infrastructure package only after Biden and other Democrats assured them the social spending bill would pass.
“So if those promises don’t follow through, it’s going to be very, very difficult for them to get votes on anything moving forward, because the trust that was already so delicate will have been broken,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Times.
The Progressive Caucus includes 95 members of the House and one Senator.
House Democrats passed the $2 trillion social-spending package on Friday morning without any Republican support. The bill includes funds for universal preschool, child tax credits, and the expansion of Medicare, among other items.
Earlier versions of the bill were estimated to cost $3.5 trillion, but it was cut back after opposition from centrist Democrats.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has repeatedly expressed concern about the bill’s cost and potential impact on inflation. The bill now heads to the Senate and will need the support of all 50 Democrats in order to pass.