Since the beginning of her career in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has been widely praised for using social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to give a deeper look into the inner-workings of Congress.
While many of the posts have been purely informational, like those documenting office assignments and new member orientation, a recent post from Ocasio-Cortez called attention to a much more harrowing practice.
Apparently this is a normal practice, and people don’t bat an eye.
The first few people in line are guaranteed a seat in a given hearing.
This was the hearing for marijuana banking laws. Lobbyists and those who can afford it pay people to hold their spot so they get in 1st.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 13, 2019
The Congresswoman discovered that lobbyists frequently pay the homeless and low-income Americans to hold their place in line at Senate and Congressional hearings, which only hear from 10 members of the public during that time.
The pieces of paper on the floor are the names of the lobbyists whose place they’re holding. This dude, for example, lobbies for a company called Canndescent ($360,000) and the Nat’l Cannabis Industry Assocation ($120,000). https://t.co/bRQHf183BY pic.twitter.com/P9fHnFyGZN
— Every Billionaire Is A Policy Failure (@DanRiffle) February 13, 2019
People were disturbed at lobbyists using their deep pockets and the needs of low-income Americans to influence policies that affect all of us.
Everything and everyone has a price under capitalism. Human beings are commodities to be bought and sold.
— The Socialist Party (@OfficialSPGB) February 13, 2019
Dear. Sweet. Jesus.
Just end it all. End it all now. Burn the whole planet down and start over.
— Brunette Bohemian (@RSun82) February 13, 2019
Lobbying is sanctioned bribery of government officials and should be outlawed.
Lobbyists should lobby the people, then the people can instruct their representatives how to vote.
Lobby moneys could best be used to improve parks, schools and their security, sidewalks, etc, etc.
— Googlybear (@Googlybearhug4u) February 13, 2019
Any paid lobbyist should be banned from any government building. It’s legalized bribery.
— Adam Griffith (@SanClementeJedi) February 13, 2019
Many, however, were grateful for Ocasio-Cortez.