By Lukas Mikelionis
Published January 24, 2019
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defied her party Wednesday, voting against a bill to end the partial government shutdown -- on the grounds that the proposal would fund Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and border security.
Nevertheless, the bill, backed by the Democratic Party’s leadership, passed 234-180. Every House Democrat – except Ocasio-Cortez – fell in line to vote for it, and the measure even attracted the support of 10 House Republicans.
Most Republicans opposed the measure because it came up short on President Trump's demands regarding the border wall by providing only $1.6 billion for border security-related initiatives -- far short of the more than $5 billion Trump was seeking.
But Ocasio-Cortez justified her vote against the bill because it included funding of federal immigration authorities.
“We were having conversations with our community after we voted for DHS [Department of Homeland Security] funding the first time,” Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Post about the vote. “We’re hearing back a lot from our local community and they’re uncomfortable with any vote on funding for ICE.”
“We’re hearing back a lot from our local community and they’re uncomfortable with any vote on funding for ICE.”
The Democratic socialist previously voted in favor of providing funding to the Department of Homeland Security and ICE, but since those votes she has changed her mind.
“A solid no for funding ICE at all,” her spokesman Corbin Trent told the newspaper.
“A solid no for funding ICE at all.”
None of the funding packages approved by the House Democrats are likely to make their way to the Senate floor as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ruled out voting on bills that weren’t a result of Congressional Democrats and Trump’s negotiations.
The government shutdown has entered its 34th day on Thursday, with no signs of an impasse being resolved any time soon.
The rift between Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi worsened even further after she blocked the State of the Union address next week.
Trump indicated that he won’t sign a bill that doesn’t provide enough funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.