The wide criticism U.S. House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez received when she cheered Amazon’s decision to not build a second headquarters in New York didn’t seem to faze her. Instead, the freshman congresswoman seems emboldened, and now, just one day later, she’s setting her sights on President Donald Trump and his beloved border wall.
On Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency to combat all kinds of crimes that stem from illegal immigration. Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, he reiterated his talking points about what he’s called a crisis at the country’s southern border.
Here’s an excerpt from the White House’s statement on the matter:
“Cartels, traffickers, and gangs, like the vile MS-13 gang, have taken advantage of our weak borders for their own gain, Trump stresses. He said stats show illegal immigrants have been charged or convicted of approximately 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings.”
These numbers have been challenged, but Trump remains steadfast in using them.
The president further revealed that he would re-appropriate at least $8.1 billion toward border security.
“Including funding in Homeland Security appropriations, the Administration has so far identified up to $8.1 billion that will be available to build the border wall once a national emergency is declared and additional funds have been reprogrammed.”
Before the president even stepped foot in the Rose Garden, Ocasio-Cortez and fellow House Representative Joaquin Castro sounded off. They released a statement Thursday about their intentions to stop the president’s ability to declare the emergency.
Specifically, the two congresspeople said that they would introduce a bill to nullify Trump’s emergency declaration – and halt construction of the border wall.
Here’s an excerpt of the statement released by Castro office:
“If President Trump declares a national emergency to fund his border wall, I’m prepared to introduce a resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration under 50 U.S.C. 1622. (National Emergencies Act). President Trump would unconstitutionally usurp congressional authority by declaring an emergency based upon unfounded hype rather than any substantive emergency.”
The statement went on to say that border crossings are lower than they have been in four decades.
“There are more law enforcement officers at the border—some stationed there simply to make good on politicians’ anti-immigrant rhetoric—than ever before.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Castro further allege that the National Emergencies Act provides them with the legislative authority to stop Trump in his tracks.
“[The Act] includes a process by which Congress can terminate a national emergency through expedited legislative procedures by enacting a joint resolution,” the statement said.
As Ocasio-Cortez basks in her newfound fame as the Democrats’ new weapon, some in the party are speaking out against her.
So irritated about her role in chasing 25,000 well-paying jobs out of his state, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released this scathing statement:
“[A] small group [of] politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community – which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City – the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state. The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.”
Given how popular she is among grassroots progressives, though, it’s unlikely party leaders will be able to keep her in line.
Stock market icon Gene Munster also weighed in on the Amazon situation and politics. He’s worried about politicians being more concerned about reelection than the plight of their constituents.
The Apple bull said on Fox Business today that Amazon’s decision is net neutral for its shareholders. That’s because it can just go to another state or city to build its HQ2. For Queens, though, the move is an unqualified loss. He said:
“When you think about building a city, you ultimately want to have companies that are on the right growth trajectory. A kind of a long-term partner for the [Long Island] city was lost. I can’t imagine anyone, beyond politicians, feeling good about this.”
The bigger story is about how politics is playing into big tech. A politician’s first job should be to do good for their constituents, but in this case the priority seems to be to get reelected, Munster said.
“What we’re seeing, especially among millennials, is politics is becoming a religion here and I think picking a fight with a big tech company is good for them, not for the people of New York, but ultimately for their reelection prospects.”
Munster said all this political drama is a cautionary tale.
“There are new rules and they’re about making a political statement versus doing what’s right for the people.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s shot across the bow to curtail the president’s authority to secure the southern border smacks of being an example over what Munster indicts.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Image from Angela Weiss / AFP