On Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her three fellow “Squad” members stood in the way of an amendment that would prevent individuals convicted of sexual misconduct, violent crimes, or terrorism from being hired by the Transportation Safety Administration.
During a debate on a bill expanding TSA worker protections, Democratic Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood put forward an amendment that 174 Democrats voted against, which would have prevented the TSA from hiring people with sexual misconduct and terrorism convictions, as the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez declined to vote on the amendment, as did Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“We have two options today: Adopt the Underwood amendment and keep sexual predators off of the federal payroll, or reject it and reward sexual predators with a paycheck from the taxpayer,” Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko said about the amendment.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized the Dems for their position and labeled the dissenters as the “socialist wing of the party.”
“The amendment was pulled back by leadership because the socialist wing of the party did not want to have that amendment go forward on this bill,” McCarthy said on Thursday.
“When it was offered, overwhelmingly the majority of the House would like to see the TSA not hire terrorists or those who have been convicted of sexual misconduct with minors and others. But the socialist wing of the party, that controls now the Democratic Party, said that that could not be offered.”
Ultimately, the amendment was added, but only after Underwood and 41 other Democrats broke ranks and joined the Republicans.
The bill passed the House by a vote of 227-175 despite no votes from Reps Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley.