"I don't know why she voted against it," Michael Goodman, a retired college professor, told the New York Post. "For decades, New York has given more money than they've gotten back. Politics is the art of compromise. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
"New York needs this money," Sidibe Ibrahima, a different city resident who declared she was a Democrat, told the newspaper. "The fact that [AOC] had her own community impacted by the floods, how are you going to go against an infrastructure bill? She should think about the people who voted for her."
Ibrahima referred to the impact of Hurricane Ida last September on much of the Northeast, including Ocasio-Cortez's congressional district, which covers parts of the Bronx and Queens boroughs of New York City. The Post reported that the bill, which passed on a 228-206 vote late Friday – with 13 Republicans backing the measure – includes funding for sewer and drainage upgrades to help stop flooding.
According to the newspaper, Ocasio-Cortez, 32, now in her second term in Congress, explained her vote in an Instagram Live video. She insisted that the passage of the infrastructural bill jeopardizes the passage of the more costly Build Back Better safety-net legislation that she and other Progressives support.
"My main concern is … we just locked in the United States to increase its climate emissions," the congresswoman announced. "I did not feel that I had the assurances at that moment to vote to increase U.S. climate emissions for an IOU."
On Friday, former President Donald Trump took a subtle jab at Ocasio-Cortez, calling the Democrats' agenda the "Green New Deal bill," a reference to Ocasio-Cortez's signature list of climate proposals.
Also denouncing Ocasio-Cortez's "no" vote was U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, the Staten Island and Brooklyn Congresswoman who was among the 13 Republicans to oppose the GOP and back the Democrats' legislation.
"I think she did her district a disservice," Malliotakis told the Post. "New York City benefits more than any other part of the country. It's all hard infrastructure and all things that we desperately need."
The Post stressed that in addition to Malliotakis, three other GOP lawmakers from New York state further were in the group of 13 Republican defectors: U.S. Reps. John Katko, Tom Reed, and Andrew Garbarino.