Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) in a recent interview slammed Congress as a "s--t show" and said that the failure to extend the child tax credit through the Build Back Better Act has led to the rise in crime seen in cities across the country.
The progressive congresswoman explained to the New Yorker in an interview published Monday that Congress is a "s--t show" and is "scandalizing" every day.
"What is surprising to me is how it never stops being scandalizing," Ocasio-Cortez said. "Some folks perhaps get used to it, or desensitized to the many different things that may be broken, but there is so much reliance on this idea that there are adults in the room, and, in some respect, there are. But sometimes to be in a room with some of the most powerful people in the country and see the ways that they make decisions—sometimes they’re just susceptible to groupthink, susceptible to self-delusion."
She also suggested that the U.S. may no longer have a democracy in the years to come, prompting the interviewer to press her on the matter.
"I think there's a very real risk that we will not. What we risk is having a government that perhaps postures as a democracy, and may try to pretend that it is, but isn't," Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that she believes the country is at risk of returning to Jim Crow.
The Democrat claimed that the child tax credit expiring at the end of 2021 may have led to the crime spike in a number of U.S. cities.
"We don't want to say some of the things that are obvious, like, 'Gee, the child-tax credit just ran out, on December 31st, and now people are stealing baby formula.' We don't want to have that discussion," she said. "We want to say these people are criminals or we want to talk about 'people who are violent,' instead of 'environments of violence,' and what we’re doing to either contribute to that or dismantle that."
The child tax credit was included in the American Rescue Plan but expired at the end of December after Congress failed to pass Build Back Better or a standalone credit.
A $3,600 a year credit per child for parents of children under six, and a $3,000 a year credit per child for children between the ages of six and 18 was included in the American Rescue Plan. Now, after the expiration, parents will only receive the $2,000 per child credit included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The uptick in violence, the congresswoman said, is being fueled by young men.
"The surge in violence is being driven by young people, particularly young men," she said. "And we allow the discourse to make it sound as though it's, like, these shady figures in the bush, jumping out from a corner. These are young men. These are boys."
Ocasio-Cortez also criticized Democratic Party leadership for running away from the "defund the police" movements that progressives have pushed since the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
"Just because there was this large conversation about 'defund the police' coming from the streets, the response was to immediately respond to it with fear, with pooh-poohing, with 'this isn't us,' with arm's distance," she said.
The first-term congresswoman claimed that New Yorkers electing Eric Adams as their mayor is not evidence that the city favors more policing to crack down on crime.
"What the public wants is a strong sense of direction," Ocasio-Cortez said. "I don't think that in electing Mayor Adams everyone in the city supports bringing back torture to Rikers Island in the form of solitary confinement,"