Politics

Democratic Socialist Ocasio-Cortez Freeloading on DCCC

AOC hits back at DCCC for 'blacklist' against left-wingers

Bernie Sanders campaigns with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Getty Images

Self-proclaimed democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Friday defended her decision not to pay dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Fox News's Marisa Schultz reported that Ocasio-Cortez has not paid up, upsetting some of her Democratic colleagues, but Ocasio-Cortez said she refuses to pay dues to the DCCC because it has "blacklisted" some progressive candidates.

The DCCC has a policy of refusing to do business with vendors who work with any candidate running a primary challenge to an incumbent Democrat. The Justice Democrats, a PAC that has backed Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive candidates, has decried this so-called blacklist, but other Democrats have criticized Ocasio-Cortez for not helping the party's key campaign committee.

"Do you want to be in a majority or do you want to be in the minority?… And do you want to be part of a team?" Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.) said.

Every Democrat in the House is expected to pay dues to the DCCC to help the committee protect vulnerable members and elect new candidates. The Intercept, however, reported last year that freshman congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez would not be paying. When Ocasio-Cortez joined Congress, she asked the DCCC if raising money online and social media for her colleagues would be counted as her dues. The DCCC said those funds would not count, prompting Ocasio-Cortez to notify the committee that she would not be paying dues.

Ocasio-Cortez has recently clashed with members of her own party. In a recent interview, she criticized her party for being "too big of a tent" and said that she did not belong in the same party as former vice president Joe Biden.

"They let anybody who the cat dragged in call themselves a progressive. There's no standard," Ocasio-Cortez said about the Congressional Progressive Caucus, adding that the same goes for the Democratic Party. "Democrats can be too big of a tent."

Updated 3:45 p.m.: This post was updated with Ocasio-Cortez's tweet defending her decision.