Maloney (D) Slams Ocasio-Cortez's Opposition to Amazon: 'Now We Are Protesting Jobs?'

February 15, 2019

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) on Friday night slammed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y) for her opposition to Amazon headquarters coming to New York City, saying that she was "disappointed" at people protesting jobs in her district.

Maloney, who has been representing the 12th Congressional District since 2013, appeared on CNN's "OutFront" to discuss Amazon's decision to cancel its plan to build a headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, which is part of her district. Host Erin Burnett read Ocasio-Cortez's tweet celebrating the decision and asked if she shared her sentiment.

"My constituents want jobs," Maloney said.

"This was 25,000 jobs," said Burnett, prompting Maloney to say this was a "minimum" amount of jobs.

"It would have been many, many more; 25,00 jobs at $150,000 minimum for the job," Maloney said. "There were promises for a new school, and as a former teacher, I was intrigued with their plans to have a curriculum in 30 different schools supported by Amazon on high tech. We should be really diversifying our base of taxes, our base of businesses. We are too dependent on financial services."

"It used to be that we would protest wars. Now we are protesting jobs? People are complaining about jobs coming to your [city] ... If this had gone through, it would have made overnight New York City the high-tech capital of the east coast, the most important job center for tech jobs."

Later in the interview, Maloney talked about her experience on the city council and how she worked with several mayors on how to diversify their economies through investing in high-tech schools. She said they could have had a place to work if Amazon didn't back out, prompting Burnett to blame progressives like Ocasio-Cortez for forcing this decision.

"I'm a progressive too, but I'm pragmatic. If someone is going to bring a job to my district and my city and billions of dollars in tax revenue—you also had a story this week that we were $3 billion under projected revenues for the state and roughly $1 billion under projected—this is the first quarter. We are $4 billion less than we usually get and yet we are kicking out a company that was projecting over 10 years roughly $27 billion in taxes," Maloney said.

"I am disappointed. It used to be if you wanted to change something, you worked with the contract to change it," she continued. "They just said, 'We don't want it,' and they are demonstrating against it and it's jobs. It's jobs. I've never seen anything like this."

Maloney isn't the only New York Democrat criticizing Ocasio-Cortez for protesting Amazon moving its headquarters to New York. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio cited his "progressive" roots and said he would "take on any progressive anywhere that thinks it’s a good idea to lose jobs and revenue."

"Working people are very smart and very discerning. They want jobs, they want revenue, they want the kinds of things that government can do for them," de Blasio said. "They understand they have to be paid for."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) was also critical of the opposition from progressives to the Amazon headquarters being built in New York.