Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was found to be the least bipartisan member in the House, according to a new nonpartisan study from the Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.
Researchers who performed the study drew primarily from congressional data showing how often members co-sponsored legislation offered by those of the opposition party.
“We sought to develop an objective measure of how well members of opposite parties work with one another using bill sponsorship and co-sponsorship data. We gravitated toward bill sponsorships and co-sponsorships for two reasons,” a summary of the study notes.
“First, they allowed us to construct a highly objective measure of partisan and bipartisan behavior. Second, sponsorship and co-sponsorship behavior is especially revealing of partisan tendencies,” the summary continues.
“Members’ voting decisions are often contextual and can be influenced by parliamentary circumstances. Sponsorships and co-sponsorships, in contrast, exist as very carefully considered declarations of where a legislator stands on an issue.”
According to the analysis, Ocasio-Cortez was ranked 427 out of 437 members of the House. Her bipartisanship score fell far below the average that researchers have discovered over a 28-year period.
All 10 of the House members who ranked below her were Republicans, the study found.
Of the 21 bills that Ocasio-Cortez sponsored, none managed to attract a single GOP co-sponsor. Also, of the 444 pieces of legislation that the Bronx Democrat joined as a co-sponsor, just 17 were filed by Republicans, according to the New York Post, citing a Lugar Center official.
In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, other members of the so-called “Squad” rated well below average in terms of bipartisanship as well. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts was ranked 426th, while Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota was in 424th place and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan came in 414th.
“Obviously members come into Congress with particular agenda and I think [Ocasio-Cortez] has been pretty straightforward about her agenda,” said Dan Diller, the Lugar Center’s policy director, in an interview with The Post.
One reason why Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow Squad members rank so low in terms of Democratic bipartisanship is due to their embrace of far-left legislation such as the Green New Deal, bans on fracking, federal housing overhauls and providing illegal aliens with full taxpayer-supported public benefits, The Post noted.
Other members of New York’s congressional delegation who ranked higher than Ocasio-Cortez on the bipartisanship scale used the Lugar Center’s findings to highlight their willingness to reach across the aisle.
“Since coming to Congress, I’ve successfully worked in a bipartisan manner to advance legislation to combat the opioid epidemic, secure our nation, expand access to mental healthcare, support our pandemic response, and address a host of other issues of local importance,” noted Rep. John Katko, a moderate Republican from Syracuse who was rated the second-most bipartisan member of the current Congress, in a statement.
The findings on Ocasio-Cortez’s highly partisan nature come after an earlier report found that she was also one of the least effective members of Congress.
According to an assessment by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, of the New York democratic socialist’s 21 pieces of “substantive legislation” proposed over the course of her career, none of them have even made it out of committee.
“Tweeting is easy, governing is hard. You need to have friends. You need to understand the committee process, you need to be willing to make sacrifices. Her first day in Congress … she decided to protest outside of Nancy Pelosi’s office,” one congressional source told the New York Post in April when Ocasio-Cortez’s effectiveness ranking was released.
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