OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
A new analysis of congressional members finds that while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) may be a star on social media, she is nothing more than a back-bencher when it comes to her job as a lawmaker.
The analysis found that ‘AOC’, as she is known, is one of Congress’s least-effective, least productive members, the New York Post reported.
A new survey from the nonpartisan Center for Effective Lawmaking, which is a joint project between the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, the self-avowed Democratic socialist introduced 21 bills that the center said would qualify as “substantive,” but there’s more.
None of her nearly two dozen bills even received any action in House committees, let alone floor votes. None of them ever became law, according to the center, which uses data collected by Congress.gov.
“It’s clear that she was trying to get her legislative agenda moving and engage with the lawmaking process,” Wiseman added. “But she wasn’t as successful as some other members were — even among [other] freshmen — at getting people to pay attention to her legislation.”
Translated, that likely means more than a few members of her own party, let alone Republicans, don’t really take her and her agenda very seriously.
The Post added:
When looking at the legislative effectiveness of all congressional Democrats, AOC was ranked 230th out of 240 Democrats. Among the 19 Democratic lawmakers from New York, she ranked last.
Among the bills that died at birth were a federal overhaul of public housing, a ban on fracking and a mandate to provide full federal public benefits to illegal immigrants.
The paper added that Democratic House insiders noted many of AOC’s party colleagues said her approach to handling things is off-putting to many members.
“Tweeting is easy, governing is hard. You need to have friends. You need to understand the committee process, you need to be willing to make sacrifices,” one insider told the Post. “Her first day in Congress … she decided to protest outside of Nancy Pelosi’s office.”
Another questioned Ocasio-Cortez’s real motivations for even running for Congress, saying “legislation was never her focus. It was media and narrative.”
New York Republican colleagues were also critical, including freshman Rep. Nicole Malliotakis.
“Her ludicrous policy ideas would destroy our country — Americans should be thankful she’s not effective,” Malliotakis told the paper.
AOC isn’t the only “Squad” member to have little legislative success, though Ocasio-Cortez still ranked far below them.
Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, for instance, sponsored 33 pieces of legislation that also did not move in the House, which earned her 214th place. Three of Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s substantive bills actually advanced into committees and one of them became law, earning her the 92nd spot.
“Things weren’t much better over in the Senate where New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand clocked in at 39 of 45 — with none of the substantive bills she proposed becoming law,” The Post reported. “Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer landed at 33 — though Wiseman stressed that politicians in leadership positions often fared poorly, as their jobs required them to assist other members with their initiatives.”