Study declares AOC one of the least effective members of Congress, Internet says 'no one is surprised'

According to the survey by Center for Effective Lawmaking, AOC introduced a total of 21 bills that the center defined as 'substantive'. But her legislation received no action in committees, no floor votes, and none ever became law


                            Study declares AOC one of the least effective members of Congress, Internet says 'no one is surprised'
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Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, trends on social media every other day for her honest and blatant Instagram Lives, snappy and witty retorts and basically her fearless attitude. But as much as AOC is a social media expert, as it turns out, she is not all that effective as a lawmaker. 

According to a new survey from the nonpartisan Center for Effective Lawmaking, Ocasio-Cortez is one of the "least effective" members of Congress. 

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In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) addresses the virtual convention on August 18, 2020. The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)

According to the survey by Center for Effective Lawmaking, a joint project of Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia, AOC introduced a total of 21 bills that the center defined as "substantive". But her legislation received no action in committees, no floor votes, and none ever became law, according to the center, which takes its data from Congress.gov.

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“We’re the Center for Effective Lawmaking, so we’re particularly interested in the lawmaking component of what members of Congress do, so we set aside oversite and constituency services and so on,” said Craig Volden, the co-director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking. “In that lawmaking space, we've generated the legislative effectiveness scores.”

"She introduced a lot of bills, but she was not successful at having them receive any sort of action in committee or beyond committee and if they can't get through committee they cannot pass the House," Alan Wiseman, a Vanderbilt political scientist and co-director of the center, reportedly said. "It's clear that she was trying to get her legislative agenda moving and engage with the lawmaking process," Wiseman added. "But she wasn't as successful as some other members were - even among [other] freshmen - at getting people to pay attention to her legislation."

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U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks outside of the Democratic National Committee headquarters on November 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and others called on the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden to take bold action on issues of climate change and economic inequalities. (Getty Images)

“When we talk about (lawmakers) introducing bills into the U.S. House or Senate, we're only looking at public bills, meaning those that actually make their way through both chambers and assigned to law; actually have the power to change US code essentially,” said Wiseman, adding, “We're not focusing on resolutions.”

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AOC was ranked 230th out of 240 Democrats according to the survey. She ranked last among the 19 Democratic lawmakers from New York. From January 2019 to January 2021, Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx, introduced 21 bills during the 116th Congress. But according to the study, none of these made it out of their respective committees. The scores are reportedly compiled biannually after the conclusion of each Congress.

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“While political talking points and ideology-fueled headlines may gather more attention, bill advancement is the key to effectiveness for every elected lawmaker in Congress,” said Volden, who is also a professor at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

Social media users have been having mixed reactions to the survey. Her critics mocked and taunted her while her supporters stood by her side. "But I thought tweets passed laws?!!" one taunted. Donald Trump Jr also shared the news with a jab, "No one is surprised!"

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"Congresswoman AOC is effective and excellent, actually," one defended her. Users pointed out to how her influence does matter in the real world. "This may well be true for issues of regular Congressional activity, but as a cultural and political icon AOC has been wildly and completely effective," a user tweeted defending her.

Another tweeted along similar lines, "This study measures only a single metric, which is legislation created. By this metric, yes, AOC has not created any legislation that has received a vote. However, her ability to advance ideas and speak to the culture of younger generations makes her one of the most effective."

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"You should ask Texas just how ineffective she was collecting money for them earlier this year!" a user hit back at Trump Jr's tweet. In a fundraising effort spearheaded by AOC to help the storm-battered Texans earlier this year, she reportedly managed to raise more than $4 million in just a few days.


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