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AOC steps up criticism of infrastructure talks with GOP, saying Democrats are 'burning precious time'

Business Insider Australia logo Business Insider Australia 9/06/2021 Joseph Zeballos-Roig
US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, speaks during a press conference calling on Congress to cut funding for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to defund border detention facilities, outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, February 7, 2019. US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, speaks during a press conference calling on Congress to cut funding for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to defund border detention facilities, outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, February 7, 2019.
  • AOC ramped up criticism of talks with Republicans on Wednesday.
  • "McConnell's plan is to run out the clock. It's a hustle. We need to move now," she tweeted.
  • A top Republican in a bipartisan group ruled out tax hikes for their infrastructure plan, a key Democratic priority.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York assailed the crawling pace of negotiations with Republicans on Wednesday, arguing Democrats are wasting time on the legislative calendar.

"Dems are burning precious time & impact negotiating w/GOP who won't even vote for a Jan 6 commission," she wrote on Twitter. "McConnell's plan is to run out the clock. It's a hustle. We need to move now."

-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 9, 2021

She also cited the futile experience Democrats had negotiating the Affordable Care Act with Republicans over a decade ago. They eventually passed it without Republican backing.

The New York congresswoman also strongly criticized the idea of Democrats "playing patty cake" with Senate Republicans in an earlier tweet, saying the current array of economic, political, and climate challenges facing the country demanded urgent action.

-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 9, 2021

It comes as Biden recalibrates his approach a day after pulling the plug on negotiations with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, the chief Republican negotiator on infrastructure. Both sides failed to strike a deal with sharp disagreements on the size of a package and how to finance it.

Now, another bipartisan group led by Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mitt Romney of Utah is poised to take the lead. Romney, along with Sen. Bill Cassidy, told Insider on Tuesday that the group of 10 senators was eyeing repurposing stimulus aid to states to finance infrastructure spending. Biden has already rejected that approach.

Romney on Wednesday ruled out tax hikes in the emerging plan. Tax increases on large firms, wealthy investors, and other high-earning Americans have constituted a core part of Biden's economic spending plans.

Four Senate Democrats who lean moderate also expressed heightened concern that climate provisions were at risk of being left out in any infrastructure package. Biden's two-part plans include setting up electric-vehicle-charging stations across the country.

"An infrastructure package that goes light on climate and clean energy should not count on every Democratic vote," Sen. Martin Heinrich tweeted on Wednesday.

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