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Ocasio-Cortez Refuses to Pay DCCC Dues, Frustrating House Dems

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez answers audience questions at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. November 9, 2019 (Scott Morgan/Reuters)

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has exasperated her fellow House Democrats by announcing that she will not pay dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House.

“For me personally, I’m not paying D-trip dues” for a “myriad of reasons” the freshman progressive congresswoman from New York said, using a nickname for the DCCC.

According to records, she has so far not paid her $250,000 in dues despite leveraging her massive social media following to raise millions for her own reelection, Fox News reported.

Ocasio-Cortez said her gripe with the party’s official House campaign organization relates to the DCCC’s practice of not supporting newer progressive candidates in order to insulate incumbent Democrats.

“One, I don’t agree with the policy around blacklisting groups that help progressive candidates,” she said. “I think we need to evolve as a party and make room for that.”

“I want to help frontline members by putting that money straight into their pocket,” Ocasio-Cortez explained.

The progressive 30-year-old has made good on that promise, pulling in more than $300,000 last year for candidates of her choosing, including $18,000 for Marie Newman, who seeks to oust longtime Illinois congressman Dan Lipinski, a rare pro-life Democrat.

“To have people try to purify the caucus because they don’t agree with them – 100 percent, I certainly don’t agree with that,” said Texas Representative Henry Cuellar, one of the Democrats Ocasio-Cortez is trying to replace with a more progressive candidate, in this case Jessica Cisneros, for whom she raised $35,000.

“Hopefully, we will start to get away from this circular firing squad,” Cuellar said.

Ocasio-Cortez complained earlier this week that the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s standard for lawmakers is too low, saying, “They let anybody who the cat dragged in call themselves a progressive.”

DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos highlighted the party campaign arm’s strong fundraising numbers even without Ocasio-Cortez’s contribution.

“That’s always up to individual members so I guess I don’t think about it one way or another,” Bustos said of Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to withhold dues. “We’re raising record amounts of money from our members.”

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