AOC: Spending package must pass soon or else 'very difficult' for Democrats 'to get votes'

"I think the stakes are really, really high," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said.

Updated: November 21, 2021 - 3:33pm

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) warned that Democrats must pass their spending bill in the Senate soon to retain the votes of the Progressive Caucus.

"I think the stakes are really, really high," Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times.

"The entire reason that the Progressive Caucus gave their votes [for the infrastructure bill] was based on direct promises from the president, as well as direct promises from more conservative Democratic holdouts. And from House leadership as well," she added.

”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 said that it has been "demoralizing" to pass President Biden's Build Back Better agenda because "there were enormous promises made."

"And this is where I have sounded the alarm, because what really dampens turnout is when Democrats make promises that they don't keep," she continued.

"With the bipartisan infrastructure plan, there's all of these headlines going around. And I understand the political importance of making a victory lap. But I think that the worst and most vulnerable position we could be in is to over-promise and under-deliver," Ocasio-Cortez said.

She added that Biden could sign executive orders for issues like immigration, student loans, and the climate.

"So why are we taking this as a legislative compromise, when the opportunity is so much greater, or when Biden could do this stuff with a stroke of a pen, and is just reminding us that he’s choosing not to?" Ocasio-Cortez asked.

The House passed the spending package late last week and it has been sent to the Senate, where it will likely be amended.