US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has responded to accusations of “cowardice” over her last-minute decision to abstain from a vote on providing $1 billion in additional funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile system, The New Arab website reported.
Taking to Twitter on Friday, the New York lawmaker posted a lengthy letter laying out her reasons for opposing the bill and criticizing the process in which it was tabled.
“In addition to opposing the substance of the Iron Dome supplemental bill, the process of bringing it to the House floor was deeply unjust,” Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, said in the letter addressed to constituents.
A note to our NY-14 constituents, from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pic.twitter.com/mOmJrgFa4G
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) September 24, 2021
She added that the “reckless decision by House leadership to rush this controversial vote within a matter of hours and without true consideration created a tinderbox of vitriol, disingenuous framing” and “deeply racist accusations”, likely referring to charges of antisemitism leveled at pro-Palestine lawmakers on the House floor.
AOC also acknowledged that she cried immediately after the vote, saying that she “wept at the complete lack of regard I often feel our party has to its most vulnerable and endangered members and communities”.
She concluded the letter by acknowledging criticisms of her decision, saying: “To those I have disappointed – I understand. To those who believe this reasoning is insufficient or cowardice – I understand.”
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) September 24, 2021
Despite the lengthy explanation, many stood by their criticism, noting that the letter did little to address the reasons why she abstained, according to The New Arab.
“So why did she vote ‘present’? That’s left unexplained,” read the top-liked comment under the congresswoman’s tweet.
Others, meanwhile, accused AOC of abstaining from the vote due to her career ambitions.
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) September 23, 2021
“So she voted present to keep her ‘community’ from being torn apart?” The New Arab reported another Twitter user as saying. “Her district would be – just fine – with her voting no. But it’ll be a problem if she wants to go further in NY… say a senate seat.”
The Iron Dome supplemental bill was passed by Congress on Thursday with 420 votes for and just 9 against.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)