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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not too impressed with her GOP colleagues right now, as House Republicans prepare once again to try and select a new Speaker. As she told The Daily Show guest host Desus Nice on Monday night, “They’re on the struggle bus a little bit.”
As of Tuesday, the House has gone 21 days without a Speaker, and this week will mark the third time Republicans convene to nominate a new one. The handful of officials vying for the job seem to illustrate the lawmakers’ lack of unity, as the New York Times reports that internal feuding has “paralyzed the chamber.”
On The Daily Show, Ocasio-Cortez—who represents New York’s 14th District in Congress—stated the problem more plainly: “Republicans kicked out their Speaker, and now they can’t find a new guy to run their group project. ... And they’re all fighting with each other about it.”
As amusing as the infighting might be, Ocasio-Cortez emphasized how severe the consequences could be. Should this drag on into a government shutdown, she said, “That’s when we start seeing TSA and airports get affected. That’s when people could potentially miss their checks.”
Because of this, Ocasio-Cortez continued, it’s “really important for everybody to make sure that we get that pressure on. But also we need to make sure that we don’t have people like Jim Jordan or extremists. Because whoever takes over the House could potentially put our democracy in danger when it comes to certifying or re-certifying an election and so on.”
Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is no longer a nominee thanks to a secret vote after losing the ballot 86-112, according to NPR—which also reports that House members have complained about Jordan allegedly bullying them, as well as their staffs and loved ones.
When asked what the House had been getting done before things flew into disarray, Ocasio-Cortez couldn’t help but mock her Republican colleagues, saying that since they took over the chamber, they’ve at least “provided a lot of meme content.”
“But before that, when Democrats were in the majority, we passed the largest climate package in American history,” she said. “We capped insulin at $35 for people. We made sure that when the pandemic went through, we started the program of child tax credits.”
The child tax credits ended last year, after Republicans and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin chose to let it die rather than renew them. “But when we take back the Senate,” Ocasio-Cortez said, setting her sights on 2024, “we want to make sure that we reestablish and expand those programs back again, too.”
As always, Ocasio-Cortez and Nice shared a great rapport during her Daily Show appearance—maybe because of their shared Bronx roots, or maybe because of her visits to his old show Desus & Mero, on which she was the inaugural guest. Perhaps the greatest moment of the interview came when Ocasio-Cortez made a very New York joke about the harsh criticism she often receives on social media.
“You know, it’s not that different than the 6 train at midnight sometimes,” Ocasio-Cortez quipped. “You get practice.”