This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation
. The author of this post is Mitch Kokai
Martin Pengelly writes
for The Guardian about U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's
reaction to the new president's first few months in office.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saluted the Biden administration on Friday, saying the new president had exceeded progressives' expectations in his first 100 days in the White House.
- "The Biden administration and President Biden have definitely exceeded expectations that progressives had," the New York congresswoman, a star on the left of the Democratic party, told a virtual town hall meeting. "I think a lot of us expected a much more conservative administration."
- In March, Joe Biden scored a major victory when his $1.9tn Covid stimulus and rescue package passed into law without a single Republican vote.
- Progressives were disappointed, though, when a move to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour was dropped from the package after a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian.
- Moderates in the upper chamber also opposed the move. The Senate is split 50-50 and controlled through the casting vote of the vice-president, Kamala Harris. Centrist Democrats such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are thus placed in powerful positions.
- Ocasio-Cortez, an ally of progressive senators such as Bernie Sanders of Vermont, said that "the majority of the tension within the Democratic party lies in the Senate".
- Biden is looking to pass another large legislative package, the $2.25tn, infrastructure-focused American Jobs Plan. Republicans remain ranged against him, opposing progressive priorities featured in the package.
- Not all progressives are satisfied either. Ocasio-Cortez said: "I think the infrastructure bill is too small. I have real concerns that the actual dollars and cents, and programmatic allocations of the bill, don't meet the ambition of that vision, of what's being sold." ...
- ... But Ocasio-Cortez also said Biden - who was a senator for 36 years and vice-president for eight under Barack Obama - had been "very impressive" in his approach to negotiating with Congress, resulting in the passage of "progressive legislation".
- "It's been good so far," she said.