AOC says Biden’s State of the Union ‘left a bit to be desired’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday “left a bit to be desired” because it didn’t go far enough to push progressive policies on student loan debt, immigration and energy policy.

The socialist ‘Squad’ leader chose her own party’s commander-in-chief shortly after her speech ended – eclipsing the more widely expected but ultimately less critical Biden ‘rebuttal’ from leftist Allied Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

“The immigration article has really been glossed over and we have over 10 – you know, between 10 and 13 million immigrants in this country who feel desperate for a path to citizenship,” said Ocasio-Cortez on MSNBC.

“We’ve heard, you know, some talking about the DREAMers but the DREAMers want their families to be able to stay. They also don’t want to be separated from their parents,” she continued.

“So I think there are some themes that leave a bit to be desired for the key constituencies of the Democratic base, but the president’s goal was very clear to really project a theme of unity and I think there’s is still stuck.”

The 32-year-old New York Democratic Socialist blamed Biden for releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine while ignoring the renewal energy.

President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill, as Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California look on.

The congresswoman said it was “definitely a lost opportunity” for Biden not to focus more on transitioning away from oil.

“Russia is very, very dependent on the rest of the world buying its oil. We are releasing oil reserves right now to facilitate that, but we shouldn’t rely on fossil fuels to begin with and that would really solve a lot of those problems,” she said.

“I think there is a lot more to be desired there. [Electric vehicles], while large, they are not the primary form of transit for millions of people who live in urban or urban-adjacent areas in the United States. And so we need to know more about our transition to clean energy beyond, you know, weatherproofing our windows, which is extremely important, and electric vehicles. But we really need to know more, I think, about mass transit, trains, high-speed rail, and renewable energy.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said Biden "passed over in silence" issues facing undocumented Americans.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said Biden had “glossed over” the issues facing undocumented Americans.
Drew Angerer

Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens, then urged Biden to grant temporary protected status to Ukrainian citizens currently living in the United States. The status would allow them to remain legally in the United States.

“Squad” associates gave mixed reviews to some Biden lines. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), for example, was conspicuously seated when nearly every other member of Congress gave Biden a standing ovation for speaking out against calls to defund the police.

By contrast, Tlaib’s more formal response to Biden, on behalf of the left-leaning Working Families Party, was largely decontextualized from the president’s remarks after receiving criticism from fellow Democrats.

Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib delivered an official response to the State of the Union, which was criticized by her centrist colleagues.
Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib delivered an official response to the State of the Union, which was criticized by her centrist colleagues.

Tlaib’s decision to issue a response to Biden was “like grabbing his own car and cutting his own tires,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) said earlier in the day.

The Michigan congresswoman gave Biden very little resistance and instead praised him while calling on her colleagues to support the social initiatives proposed in his roughly $2 trillion Build Back Better Act, which was effectively killed in December by centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.) opposing it in the equally divided Senate.

“With the majority of the Build Back Better program stalled. Mr President, our work is unfinished. But we are ready to restart our work,” Tlaib said. “We still have time to cut costs for working families and preserve a livable planet for our grandchildren. But we must act now.

In glimmers of criticism, Tlaib called on Biden to cancel federal student loan debt, which he says he has no power to do, and ban federal permits for new fossil fuel drilling, which Biden fights in court to do. She also called on Biden to break up “pharmaceutical monopolies” to reduce drug costs.

Tlaib’s response received little airplay on cable news channels because it coincided with the live broadcast of the Republican rebuttal presented by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.

New York Post

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