Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People ‘going hungry as you tweet from’ vacation

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBiden names John Kerry as ‘climate czar’ in new administration Maloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine ‘stuck in the past’ Ocasio-Cortez defends Harry Styles wearing dress on Vogue cover: ‘It looks wonderful’ MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMcSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol Capitol’s COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview Republican senators urge Trump to label West Bank goods as ‘Made in Israel’ MORE (R-Texas) traded jabs on Twitter this week after she recently called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFeinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee Voters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | ‘COVID cliff’ looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus MORE (R-Ky.) for dismissing the Senate for recess ahead of Thanksgiving without passing coronavirus relief legislation.

The back and forth began shortly after Cruz took aim at the freshman congresswoman on Twitter on Monday for knocking McConnell in a previous tweet. In the post, Cruz accused the Democratic Party of filibustering relief legislation backed by Republicans that Democrats have said is inadequate. 

“Why is your party filibustering $500 billion in COVID relief? And Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to ‘hollow out government agencies’ Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban ‘inflicts concrete harms,’ study says | China objects to US admiral’s Taiwan visit Protect our world: How the Biden administration can save lives and economies worldwide MORE is cheering them on. Thinking that blocking relief somehow helps Dems win Georgia,” Cruz tweeted.

“The House doesn’t have filibusters, @tedcruz. We also passed several COVID relief packages to the Senate that not only include >$500 billion, but also prioritize helping real people as opposed to Wall St bailouts the GOP tries to pass off as ‘relief.’ Nice try though,” she replied.

The congressman was referring to a $500 billion GOP coronavirus relief bill that was blocked by Senate Democrats in late October amid talks between House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiVoters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | ‘COVID cliff’ looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus MORE (D-Calif.) and the White House geared toward securing bipartisan agreement on a larger coronavirus bill.

In early October, the House also passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package that Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.) have pushed in recent weeks as a number of Democrats have argued the GOP-backed measure is insufficient, given the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide and the growing number of states that have reimposed restrictions on businesses to slow the spread of the disease. 

However, that package hasn’t seen movement either since its passage in the House weeks in the after GOP leaders ignored the legislation in the upper chamber.

Democrats have also been facing increasing pressure this month as President-elect Joe Biden has signaled he wants a deal on relief legislation before the year is over.

In a swipe at Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter early Tuesday, the Texas Republican said the congresswoman “seems not to know there are Democrats in the Senate.” 

“Or that Joe Biden (also a Dem) is publicly calling on Senate Dems to continue filibustering COVID relief because he thinks it will help them win Georgia,” he stated.

A spokesperson for Biden told CNBC earlier this week that the president-elect supports Pelosi and Schumer “in their negotiations” after The New York Times reported his team pressured the party leaders to reach a deal with Republicans, even if it turns out to be smaller than they hoped.

However, Biden has also pushed for lawmakers from both parties to work across the aisle to reach an agreement.

“The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a conscious decision. It’s a choice that we make,” he said earlier this month. “If we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate.”

In a tweet responding to Cruz’s jab later on Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: “You know in the House, when we don’t have the votes to pass something, we work on the bill until we pick up the votes to pass it.”

“That includes GOP votes – & yes, GOP have voted for my leg too,” she added. “The Senate should try it sometime! People are going hungry as you tweet from vacay.”

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