There was a time when it was extremely rare that a sitting member of Congress would draw national attention on a near-daily basis. That has changed in recent years with 24-hour news coverage and social media, however, and there is a handful of Congresspeople who are borderline celebrities due to their following and policies.
Among those that are the most popular (and polarizing) is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC for short. AOC is a darling for the modern Democrat while also being the bane of many conservatives’ existence. AOC has had some policies that she truly believes in that are considered “out there” by some, but she sticks to her guns no matter what. Here are five of her policies that have people divided, even amongst the liberals.
Medicare For All
Medicare for All has been a bill that has been sitting in Congress ever since it was introduced by Michigan Representative John Conyers in 2003. The bill has been brought up multiple times since then, though it has yet to make it into law. If eventually passed, the Medicare for All Act would create a single-payer national insurance system, and Senator Bernie Sanders has been one of the figureheads of the act.
Ocasio-Cortez became one of the other members of Capitol Hill to push the act into law, which has been met with some backlash on the other side, and even some in the Democratic Party. There are many that don’t like the idea of a government-run healthcare system. However, Ocasio-Cortez said that “When you can’t provide for your kids working a full-time job…When you can’t have health care. That is not dignified.”
Estimates say that there are more than 11 million people in the United States that are living in the country as illegal immigrants. On the Republican side of the aisle, there are many that want that number to be zero. In the case of Ocasio-Cortez, though, she says that all illegal immigrants should be able to get a path to citizenship without the fear of being deported or charged with a crime.
To add to that, AOC mentioned that ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) should be abolished. She tweeted in September 2020 that “It’s astounding that after a massive family separation operation…trapping immigrants in COVID-infected detention centers…(that) abolishing ICE is controversial.”
Roe v. Wade was the landmark Supreme Court decision in 1973 that allowed women the right to have an abortion in the United States. Naturally, there were many (mostly Republicans) people that were vehemently against this decision, and that’s still the case many decades later. In 2022, the act was overruled, with the Republican-majority Supreme Court saying that it was unconstitutional to force states to allow abortions.
AOC was one of the biggest critics of the 2022 decision and has since been on the path of getting that ruling to go back to what it was in 1973. AOC was critical of men that didn’t speak up on the ruling, too. “I think men, sometimes they think, ‘I’m not a woman. This doesn’t affect me the most,’” Ocasio-Cortez said. “For almost every woman that has gotten an abortion, there’s a man who has either been affected or liberated by that abortion too.”
Those that are further on the left side of the aisle in the United States all agree on one thing, and it’s that the richest people in the country should be paying a lot more in taxes than they do right now. Things came to a head in 2021 when the billionaires of the United States saw their overall net worth increase by $1 trillion but paid just 8 percent in taxes.
This has led to a revolt for the most liberal of people, including AOC. She has worn clothing urging Congress to tax the rich, and it has been one of her biggest policies. AOC has come up with a proposal that the richest should be paying a 70 percent marginal tax rate to help boost the US economy as billionaires stack up net worth while laying off employees.
Unions are another one of those things that billionaires and many Republicans aren’t fans of while being a huge selling point for those on the far left. Unions are established in workplaces to increase wages and benefits while making jobs safer and limiting hours to find a work-life balance.
Democrats like Bernie Sanders and AOC are among the biggest proponents for unions in the United States. “Far too often the United States government chooses to side with corporate wealth at the expense of working people and small business,” AOC said. “This must end.”