Ocasio-Cortez wrongly suggests she represents more people in Congress than Joe Manchin

Media top headlines December 20

In media news today, liberal pundits react to Manchin’s ‘no’ on Build Back Better, Nicholas Sandmann reaches a settlement with NBC after Covington Catholic controversy, and Kamala Harris’ interview with Charlamagne Tha God gets heated.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., wrongly suggested she represented more people than Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., in an interview on Monday.

In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe, Ocasio-Cortez seethed at Manchin, who announced Sunday he would vote against the massive Build Back Better social policy package, and complained that the U.S. Senate was “notoriously” designed for smaller populations to have more power than larger ones.

“The House of Representatives, and that’s even with the gerrymandering, is the only majority that most reliably delivers the actual will of the majority of people and voters of the United States of America. That is why they call this the people’s house,” she said. “It is extremely difficult to hold together a House majority, and especially with the razor-thin margin that we have around this agenda. So the idea that Joe Manchin says he can’t explain this back home to his people is a farce. I mean, it’s a farce in terms of playing democracy, because I represent more, or just as many or more people than Joe Manchin does. Perhaps more.”


Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t corrected by her MSNBC interviewers, but she wasn’t close in her pronouncement. West Virginia has about 1.8 million residents, making it the 10th-least populated state, while her district in Queens and the Bronx has around 700,000 residents, as of 2019 estimations. 

In Ocasio-Cortez’s 2020 re-election bid, she received 152,661 votes in a landslide victory over GOP opponent John Cummings. While her victory was never in doubt in her deep-blue district, Manchin faced one of the country’s toughest re-election bids in the 2018 midterms, winning more than 290,000 votes in a narrow victory over Republican Patrick Morrisey. Former President Donald Trump carried West Virginia in landslides in 2016 and 2020. 

Manchin said on “Fox News Sunday” that he had worked hard to reach an agreement with the Biden White House and his Democratic colleagues over Build Back Better, a $1.75-trillion social policy bill addressing a spate of issues, but he could not support it in the end. 

“This is a no,” he said. “I have tried everything I know to do.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., walks past reporters after attending a lengthy Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. Manchin announced Sunday he was a "no" on President Biden’s Build Back Better package. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

His opposition effectively kills the bill, with all 50 Republicans in the chamber also in opposition. The White House, progressive Democrats, and liberal media members erupted in anger over his pronouncement, with some even saying he had threatened the future of the planet.

The House passed its own version of Build Back Better solely with Democratic votes, but it was always going to be an uphill climb in the 50-50 Senate. Ocasio-Cortez, long a critic of Manchin’s as one of the most far-left members of the House, said progressives warned of this when the bipartisan infrastructure bill was passed and signed last month without Build Back Better as part of the deal. 

“We have every right to be furious with Joe Manchin, but it’s really up to leadership in the Democratic Party, who made this decision to get us to this juncture,” she said. 

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