Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) offered an explanation on Instagram Friday as to why she cried on the House Floor after changing her vote from “no” to “present” on a bill giving $1 billion to fund Israel’s missile defense system, known as “Iron Dome”—a vote that angered progressives.
“I want to be clear with our community that I am opposed to this bill, but ultimately cast a PRESENT vote,” she wrote in the post.
“For far too long,” AOC continued, “the U.S. has handed unconditional aid to the Israeli government while doing nothing to address or raise the persistent human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.” She added that the process of bringing the bill to a vote was “deeply unjust” because it was quietly slipped “into routine legislation, without any of the usually-necessary committee debate, markup, or regular order.” This process, she said, created a “real sense of panic and horror among those in our community who otherwise engage thoughtfully in these discussions.”
AOC didn’t explain why she initially voted “no” and then changed her vote to “present” on the Israel bill—which many speculated was an attempt to make herself more politically palatable ahead of a Senate run in New York. But she did address the crying:
“I wept at the complete lack of care for the human beings that are impacted by these decisions, I wept at an institution choosing a path of maximum volatility and minimum consideration for its own political convenience.”
The congresswoman concluded with an apology. “To those I have disappointed,” she wrote, “I am deeply sorry. To those who believe this reasoning is insufficient or cowardice—I understand.” She finished the lengthy post with a “hope” for “human rights around the world” which, she added includes the “rights of the Palestinian people.”