Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez torches Trump for shutdown in first House floor speech

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) used her inaugural speech on the House floor to condemn President Donald Trump over the ongoing partial government shutdown.

The freshman congresswoman said Wednesday the shutdown was not really about Trump’s demands for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border or “the well-being of everyday Americans.” Instead, she said, it was “about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms.”

”It is not normal to hold 800,000 workers’ paychecks hostage. It is not normal to shut down the government when we don’t get what we want. It is not normal for public servants to run away and hide from the public that they serve,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “And it is certainly not normal to starve the people we serve for a proposal that is wildly unpopular among the American people.”

Related: Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram:

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram
(Pt 2) Vulnerability is something I am proud of. In many ways, I see vulnerability as a coat of arms. A shield. After all, if we are unafraid to cry, to acknowledge our mistakes, to fall down and get back up, to offer a vision so ambitious that it makes the short-sighted laugh... if we are brave enough to be human in front of the whole world, then what can our detractors really do? What do we have to be afraid of when we lift our own veil? The answer is nothing. Nothing at all. . I am immensely proud of the women who made this film. It’s incredibly raw and explosively powerful - not because we are special, but because we aren’t. Because if we can do it, so can you.
🎶What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?/ Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song/ and I'll try not to sing out of key. / Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends / mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends 🎶 . This was one of my papa’s favorite songs. Before he passed away, he built a trellis for my mother by hand in our backyard. He wanted to inscribe this lyric around the edges, but never got the chance. I have always felt that this is a love song, but a love song for friendship. . This #internationalwomensday, I’m thinking about (and grateful for) sisterhood. At the heart of sisterhood, like so many meaningful relationships, is love. And to me, loving people isn’t about who you’re trying to be a “rockstar” in front of. Love is about who you’re unafraid to let see you sing out of tune. 🎤 . 📸: @rashidatlaib + @azizthefrenchie
Happy St. Pat’s for All Parade Day from Sunnyside, Queens! ☘️ . The St. Pat’s for All parade began as a demonstration for LGBTQ+ inclusion in St. Patrick’s Day festivities, when people originally tried to keep the LGBT community out of the parade (unfortunately, some NYC parades still do - which speaks to the work still left to be done). The Queens community wasn’t going to stand for that, and 20 years ago the community launched St. Pat’s for All, to celebrate Irish values of welcoming and inclusion to all people - no matter who you love or whatever your station in life may be. . Launched by Councilman Danny Dromm +activist Brendan Fay, St. Pat’s for All is a core tradition in NY14, and happens a bit before the citywide St. Patrick’s Day Parade. . 📸: @josealvarado
YEEERRRRRR 🙅🏿‍♂️🙅🏽‍♀️🙅🏽‍♂️ 🔥 Had a blast & honored to be the first guest on @shodesusandmero today! They also visited me in DC and gave a few housewarming gifts from home 🎁 just aired - check it out!
Walking into #SOTU like . . w/ @cpdaction
Losar Tashi Delek! Spent this morning with our NY-14 Tibetan community to celebrate Lunar New Year ✨ This little one and I were playing with giving each other Tibetan white scarves, or Khatas, which are auspicious tokens given to honor others on holidays and special occasions. We had so much fun! 💜
Behind every strong woman... are more strong women 😉 #ittakesavillage . 📸: @josealvarado
We open doors so others can walk through them.
If Republicans thought women dancing in college is scandalous, wait till they find out women dance in Congress, too! 😉
Tonight we celebrated #Chanukah in community with @jfrejnyc & many others. It was a blast, and Rabbi Mia extended to me the honor of helping her light the Shamash - the servant candle that sparks the others. I’m so inspired by that idea, that each and every one of us can be a ‘shamash’ for our friends, family, and community. Let’s take that energy and light into the start of this coming week!
"No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It’s my choice — one protected by the first amendment." - @ilhanmn, badass-elect, MN . Ilhan is my homie! 👯‍♀️ I’m so proud of her AND proud to support her as we bust down the doors to overturn the 181-year old House rule that says headscarves aren’t allowed in Congress. . This year, and with Ilhan’s leadership, we’re gonna flip the script and tell hijabi girls all over the world that they can run the board, fight for Medicare for All, and rock a nice headscarf if they please. . To learn more about the journey to change House rules, check today’s IG story where I link to @teenvogue’s article about it. . 📸: @shutterstock
Today’s the day. To the countless supporters, door-knockers, organizers, small-dollar donors, and everyone in between - thank you. . This journey has been one of the most challenging and rewarding collective efforts I’ve ever been a part of. We haven’t just run a campaign - we created a movement in our own backyard. We built community. We centered issues that no one wanted to talk about. We uplifted our neighbors and discovered a level courage + friendship we never thought possible. . Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey and followed us along to this moment. No matter what happens, this is just a beginning. Let’s continue walking shoulder-to-shoulder in the advancement of economic, social, + racial justice in the United States of America.
We’re back out there hitting the streets and connecting with the community for November - come swing by our Queens & Bronx offices to pitch in!
Own your power. . For so many, it’s radical to feel comfortable in your own skin - and to know that you are more than enough, just as you are. . One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” . So take up space. Speak up. Hold the door open and take others with you. Accept that you will be criticized no matter what - that is the price of fighting for change and innovation. I consider constructive criticism a blueprint for improvement and a medicine for ego. . Ultimately, the people who get down, stay focused in adversity, and do the thankless work of change are the ones who transform society. We can all be a part of that, if we so choose. We can all knock a door, register our cousin to vote, or educate ourselves on an issue we’re curious about. . We are all capable of awakening and commitment. And because of that, we can all be great. . 📸: @gigilaub
Another day, another door 🚪 Passing the baton to @biaggi4ny for her NY primary on 9/13! ✨
. ☔️👧🏾: “I‘m going to vote for you!” 👩🏽‍💼: “Thank you so much! One day I will vote for you, too.” . . 📸: @not_youraveragedumpling
IT’S OFFICIAL: OCASIO2018 IS ON THE BALLOT FOR NY-14! 🔥 . This is what ~5,500 grassroots signatures, collected by 141 volunteer witnesses, held by 1 overwhelmingly grateful candidate at midnight looks like! 💪🏽💪🏽 #peoplepower . All weekend, high-priced opposition lawyers were crawling over our petitions to find any excuse to bump me off the ballot. . Ultimately, our grassroots 5X effort was too overwhelming. As of midnight last night, no objections were filed to our campaign for Congress. . Ocasio2018 is on the ballot for NY-14 all thanks to YOU. THANK YOU to our supporters, door knockers, petition captains, donors, prayer squads, EVERYONE who helped make this happen in all ways large and small. . Now it’s time to kick it into high gear. Join us in the Bronx THIS SAT for our organizing rally and Barnstorm. You are all officially invited - so you have no reason to say “I’ve never been to the Bronx” again! COMMIT NOW: LINK IN BIO.
Speechwriting on the 6 train.
2018 is finally here. For the next six months, we must work non-stop on this campaign. . Join us by making calls to Bronx and Queens voters this weekend. You can do it from anywhere, or even host a few friends and make it a party. RSVP now - link in bio. 📸: @josealvarado
Ocasio2018: Signing bills and asking questions since Pre-K 📝
In case you haven't heard, I've been nominated to run for office! U.S. Congress to be specific. Thank you all for the incredible support so far - we're going to need it for this wild ride to come. Special thanks to Rachel & Robin for giving me the honor of holding my first campaign baby and having him stuff a dandelion up my nose 🇺🇸 #brandnewcongress
Fam bam 🙌🏽
Happy St. Pat’s for All Parade Day from Sunnyside, Queens! ☘️ . The St. Pat’s for All parade began as a demonstration for LGBTQ+ inclusion in St. Patrick’s Day festivities, when people originally tried to keep the LGBT community out of the parade (unfortunately, some NYC parades still do - which speaks to the work still left to be done). The Queens community wasn’t going to stand for that, and 20 years ago the community launched St. Pat’s for All, to celebrate Irish values of welcoming and inclusion to all people - no matter who you love or whatever your station in life may be. . Launched by Councilman Danny Dromm +activist Brendan Fay, St. Pat’s for All is a core tradition in NY14, and happens a bit before the citywide St. Patrick’s Day Parade. . 📸: @josealvarado
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The jobs performed by federal workers and the anti-immigrant sentiment of Trump’s administration were “stressful enough” without the shutdown, she said, noting that Trump shared in the “responsibility to maintain the basic functioning” of government.

Check out the full clip here:

Earlier in the day, Ocasio-Cortez joined fellow freshmen Democrats in searching for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

They wanted to hand over a letter demanding the end of the shutdown. Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues documented their hunt, which proved unsuccessful, on Twitter:

The #WheresMitch hashtag also captured the imagination of others online:

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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