© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) stops campaign in Queens during the Democratic congressional primary election in New York
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At least four Democrats’ dovish lawmakers have returned contributions from a political action committee set up by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that Republicans said signaled that they endorse their party’s most liberal policies.
The Republican congressional campaign branch launched a website on Monday calling for more than two dozen Democrats, some from highly competitive regions in the US House of Representatives, to contribute $ 5,000 from the fundraising effort that started last year by Ocasio-Cortez.
At least three unnamed Democrats were reimbursed in March by the end of the month, campaign finance records at the Federal Election Commission show. A fourth Democrat, Representative Chris Pappas, also returned the money, a spokesman said on Monday night.
Ocasio-Cortez, a star among US liberals, is the top fundraiser among Democrats, with her reelection campaign raising 2.8 million dollars in the first three months of this year. That compares to the roughly $ 4 million raised by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Republicans picked up about 10 seats of the House of Representatives in the November elections and hope to gain a full majority next year. The Democrats now have a six-seat majority, though there are some vacancies.
Some moderate Democrats have blamed the party’s losses in Congress in 2020 because some colleagues willingly accepted the idea of undermining police departments as well as policies. conservative label “socialist”.
Democrats, for example, calling for legislation to address climate change, expanding health care for all Americans, and reforming U.S. immigration laws have been hit by Republicans. charges in favor of extreme leftist policies.
Republicans are clearly hoping to re-explore those themes by 2022.
Ocasio-Cortez founded its PAC, known as The Courage to Change, after refusing to pay the campaign arm of the House Democrats, the Democratic Congressional Campaigns Committee.
One of the lawmakers who returned the cash to PAC, Representative Elissa Slotkin, said in a campaign financial report it was “not required.”
A report from another Democrat, Representative Ron Kind, found that $ 5,000 for The Courage to Change was returned on March 31st. Freshman Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux’s campaign also took place. return this money.
Kind and Bourdeaux offices did not respond to requests for comment. A Slotkin assistant declined to comment.
An Ocasio-Cortez spokesperson said she is committed to defending the majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives and has helped put more than 30 candidates in key seats to help protect that majority.
“The congresswoman proudly stands out to ensure health care, housing, and education for everyone in the United States and will continue to do so regardless of whether it puts Republican members on the ground. how to act, “the spokeswoman said.
Lawmakers often launch each other’s campaigns. The courage for change awarded $ 160,000 to federal candidates and other political commissions during the first three months of the year, according to a campaign financial disclosure.
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