Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was not in the U.S. Capitol Building when a mob violently stormed it on January 6 but rather in her Cannon Office Building office. The second-term congresswoman has since recanted her experience during the deadly siege, which she has described as “near-death.” However, no rioters broke into Cannon, a Wednesday report from the conservative publication RedState claims.
Ocasio-Cortez has since slammed the report as “the latest manipulative take on the right.”
When running through her experience that day, Ocasio-Cortez said that—out of fear that rioters had entered the building—she hid in her personal room’s bathroom. During a Monday livestream, she claimed that rioters had entered her office, according to Newsweek.
She revealed on an Instagram Live session that she was a survivor of sexual assault and described the feeling she had while locking herself in the bathroom as similar to the one she felt at the time of the assault.
She also said that she was hiding behind the door “and then I just start to hear these yells of, ‘Where is she?'”
The yells, it turns out, came from a Capitol Police officer. He reportedly burst into her office, whose presence, she said, “didn’t feel right” and that he was looking at her “in all of this anger and hostility.” One of her staffers reportedly wondered if he would have to fight the officer.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), whose office is two doors down from the New York congresswoman’s, on Tuesday played down Ocasio-Cortez’s story, saying that the extremists never reached their hallway.
Ocasio-Cortez, Mace tweeted, “made clear she didn’t know who was at her door. Breathless attempts by media to fan fictitious news flames are dangerous. My office is 2 doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway. Egregious doesn’t even begin to cover it. Is there nothing MSM won’t politicize?”
The day after Mace’s tweet, without mentioning Mace, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “To survivors of any trauma who worry about being believed, or that their situation wasn’t ‘bad’ enough or ‘too’ bad, or fear being branded or deemed ‘manipulative’ for telling the truth: I see you. Community is here for you. You are safe with me, & with all of us. You are loved!”
When firing back at RedState‘s report in a thread, she said the right “are manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the layout the Capitol complex. We were all on the Capitol complex – the attack wasn’t just on the dome. The bombs Trump supporters planted surrounded our offices too.”
“People were trying to rush and infiltrate our office buildings – that’s why we had to get evacuated in the first place,” she continued. “The attempts of attackers & publicly available communications show how they tried to gain access and share location info on finding members for physical harm.”
“It is also very damning and revealing that the GOP is now digging both heels in a discrediting campaign,” the Bronx and Queens congresswoman added. “It’s because they know they are implicated, so they’re pivoting to (again) the classic abuse playbook of “it’s not as bad as they say.” It was that bad. It’s actually worse.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Fortify Federal Bureaucracy Against Republican Presidency
In a strategic move, the Biden administration has unveiled a proposed rule aimed at reinforcing the left-leaning federal bureaucracy, potentially hindering future conservative policy implementations by Republican presidents. This move has raised concerns about the efficacy of democratic elections when a deep-seated bureaucracy remains largely unchanged, regardless of electoral outcomes.
Key points of the situation include:
Presidential Appointees vs. Career Bureaucrats: Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The vast majority, made up of career bureaucrats, continue in their roles from one administration to the next. This continuity is facilitated by rules that make it exceedingly difficult to discipline or replace them, resulting in a bureaucracy that tends to lean left politically.
Union Political Affiliation: A striking 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates support Democrats, according to Open Secrets, with only 5% favoring Republicans. This significant political skew among federal workers raises questions about the potential for political bias in the execution of government policies.
Obstructionism and Challenges for GOP Presidents: Some career bureaucrats have been accused of obstructing Republican presidents’ agendas, leading to policy delays and challenges. For example, during the Trump administration, career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declined to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants, prompting Trump to seek legal counsel from other divisions. The case was subsequently dropped when Joe Biden took office.
Biden’s Countermeasures: President Biden has taken steps to protect the bureaucracy’s status quo. In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order aiming to reclassify federal workers who make policy as at-will employees, but Biden canceled it upon taking office.
Proposed Rule and Congressional Actions: The rule unveiled by the Biden administration seeks to further impede a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Additionally, some Democrats in Congress are pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs entirely. This has been referred to as an attempt to “Trump-proof the federal workforce.”
Republican Candidates’ Pledge: GOP candidates such as President Donald J Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis have pledged to address this issue. According to reports from Fox News, Ramaswamy has gone further, advocating for the elimination of half or more of civil service positions, emphasizing the need for accountability.
Debate on the Merit of the Civil Service: While Democrats and their media allies argue that civil service protects merit over patronage, critics contend that the system has evolved into a form of job security for federal workers with minimal accountability. Federal employees often receive higher salaries and more substantial benefits than their private-sector counterparts.
In summary, the Biden administration’s proposed rule and broader actions to protect the federal bureaucracy have sparked a debate over the role of career bureaucrats in shaping government policy.
Republican candidates are vowing to address these concerns, highlighting the need for accountability and ensuring that government agencies work in alignment with the elected president’s agenda. This ongoing debate raises important questions about the relationship between the bureaucracy and the democratic process in the United States.
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