Politics is deeply dishonest.
And Congress is a sinkhole of lies, deception and virtue signaling by men and women without an ounce of virtue. Votes often aren’t what they appear to be. And that includes politicians voting against bills that they know will pass to boost their brand even as they stuff it full of juicy pork.
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushed for spending pork in the House’s omnibus appropriations bill before voting “no” on the package due to its increase in homeland security funding.
In the bill for the departments of labor, health and human services, education and related agencies, Ocasio-Cortez set aside $500,000 for “new immigrant community empowerment” in Jackson Heights, New York; $3 million for “clean energy workforce development and supportive services;” and $400,000 to progressive immigration nonprofit Make the Road New York, among other spending.
In the Department of Transportation bill, Ocasio-Cortez backed even more spending, including $1 million to Westchester Square Plaza for highway infrastructure, $1 million to the New York City Department of Transportation for “Astoria Boulevard safety improvements,” and $1 million to the New York Botanical Garden for a “worker’s operation center.”
Ocasio-Cortez also earmarked $2.4 million to the nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens for “Casa Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens.”
This isn’t something AOC came up with. A number of congressmembers on both sides have done this in the past. Ron Paul was particularly notorious for stuffing pork into bills and then making a show of voting against them. The excuse was that since they were going to pass anyway, might as well get something for it.
A lot of votes are show votes, but show votes against your own pork is another reminder of why people hate Congress. The hypocrisy is boundless and at the end of the day the bottom line is absolutely the same.