New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushed for spending pork in the House’s omnibus appropriations bill before voting ‘no’ on the package due to its increase in homeland security funding.
The House passed the massive $1.7 trillion package Friday, with the national debt sitting well above $31 trillion, before leaving Washington for Christmas break.
Ocasio-Cortez was the lone Democrat to vote against the 4,000-page bill, citing her campaign promise to ‘oppose additional expansion and funding’ of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
‘I campaigned on a promise to my constituents to oppose additional expansion and funding for ICE and DHS — particularly in the absence of long-overdue immigration reform,’ Ocasio-Cortez said in a lengthy statement published Friday. ‘For that reason, as well as the dramatic increase in defense spending which exceeds even President Biden’s request, I voted no on today’s omnibus bill.’
The New York Democrat claimed that her Bronx and Queens-based district in the Big Apple ‘particularly bears the brunt of an immigration system that criminalizes, detains, separates and traumatizes families.’
‘The dramatic increase in DHS and ICE spending — especially in light of the lack of progress on DACA, TPS and expanding paths to citizenship — cut against the promises our party has made to immigrant communities across the country.
‘From the beginning of this negotiation, we made clear to Democratic leadership that we must keep the practice of voting on funding bills by agency — particularly controversial agencies like DHS — so that Members would not be forced to betray one part of their district in service of expediency.’
The Democratic congresswoman then touted the spending provisions she added to the bill via earmarks that she ultimately voted against.
In the bill for the departments of labor, health and human services, education and related agencies, Ocasio-Cortez set aside $500,000 for ‘new immigrant community empowerment’ in Jackson Heights, New York; $3 million for ‘clean energy workforce development and supportive services;’ and $400,000 to progressive immigration nonprofit Make the Road New York, among other spending.
In the Department of Transportation bill, Ocasio-Cortez backed even more spending, including $1 million to Westchester Square Plaza for highway infrastructure, $1 million to the New York City Department of Transportation for ‘Astoria Boulevard safety improvements,’ and $1 million to the New York Botanical Garden for a ‘worker’s operation center.’
Ocasio-Cortez also earmarked $2.4 million to the nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens for ‘Casa Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens.’
The New York Democrat did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.