Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Criticizes Senate Filibuster Amid Minimum Wage Hike Debate

As the minimum wage hike debate continued through Congress on Friday, Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted to speak out against the Senate filibuster—a procedure that allows a senator to address the floor for an extended period of time in order to delay voting on a bill.

In a tweet, the congresswoman noted of the many Americans who are struggling financially and could benefit from the wage increase.

"Preserving the filibuster is not worth letting millions of people in this country go hungry, sleep in their cars, or struggle to afford baby formula," she wrote.

Preserving the filibuster is not worth letting millions of people in this country go hungry, sleep in their cars, or struggle to afford baby formula.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 26, 2021

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled against the Raise the Wage Act, saying that it did not meet budget rules. According to The New York Times, Senate Democrats are exploring an alternative plan, which would penalize corporations that pay employees less than a $15 wage.

As previously reported, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren had also criticized the Senate filibuster, noting how popular a $15 minimum wage is among Americans.

"It's hard to imagine two-thirds of Americans agreeing on much of anything. But two-thirds of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour," she said. "But right now, raising the minimum wage is getting bogged down in the Senate. Why? Because of the filibuster—a procedural loophole that lets an extreme minority of senators block the majority from passing bills that have the broad support of the American people."

Later on Friday night, Ocasio-Cortez also took to her Instagram stories to keep her followers updated on the House's voting as well as taking questions from her followers.

"Hey everyone, it's 11 p.m. Do you know where your stimulus checks are?" she asked. "Tonight, we're working on voting to send them over there to the Senate."

Responding to a follower who asked her about stimulus checks, Ocasio-Cortez assured followers that Congress' voting would include them.

"The Senate has agreed to it, and Joe Biden has agreed to it. So, the odds are very, very good that you'll be getting a $1,400 check," she said.

She also detailed some of other cash items in the House COVID package including extending Federal Unemployment assistance, a $3,600 per child allowance, and money for vaccines, schools and local governments.

Ocasio-Cortez also responded to a follower who asked why stimulus checks wouldn't be $2,000 and why the whole process has taken so long.

"It's taken a long time, because among other factors, we have two very conservative Democrats in the Senate that have kind of slowed down the process a little bit in the negotiation. The checks aren't $2,000, because Biden wanted $1,400," she said.

The congresswoman also advised a follower who said they hadn't gotten a $600 check to call their member of Congress, so a case worker can try to help.

Newsweek reached out to a press contact for Ocasio-Cortez for comment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Senate Filibuster
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to the media at the Houston Food Bank on February 20, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Thomas Shea / AFP/Getty