She expected Republicans to call 'evil-genius lobbyist types' to testify before Congress. Instead, it's been a parade of 'sloppy' hacks.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called out the Republican Party for the “sheer mediocrity” of the witnesses its representatives regularly call before Congress to offer what is supposed to be expert testimony.
“One of the things that genuinely surprised me in Congress is the sheer mediocrity of witnesses called forth by the GOP in hearings,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Thursday.
She said it was “embarrassing” when Republicans “brought in a guy w/ a polka dot bowtie backed by oil lobbyists arguing that fossil fuels are ‘healthy.’ HEALTHY.”
Ocasio-Cortez said that before coming to Congress, she “thought GOP witnesses would be well-prepared, w/ sophisticated arguments for the opposing view - evil-genius lobbyist types.”
That isn’t the case.
“They’re often sloppy + reaching,” Ocasio-Cortez said. She concluded: “I think if everyday GOP voters saw the witnesses called on their behalf, they’d be upset.”
One example the congresswoman highlighted on Twitter was testimony from Trump Labor Secretary Alex Acosta — who, during questioning from Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL), was unable to defend an administration decision to let employers opt out of contraception coverage. He was also unable to answer basic questions about how contraception affects women's lives, like how much it costs or whether it's necessary to treat other medical conditions.
Republicans regularly invite witnesses to testify before Congress who either clearly do not understand the issues at hand, or at best have a crackpot understanding of the topic.
At a recent hearing on white supremacists and the threat of violence that they present, Republicans invited conservative pundit Candace Owens to testify.
Instead of hosting someone with expert knowledge of this serious problem, they picked Owens — who recently said, “If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, okay, fine.”
Another Republican witness at the same hearing, Mort Klein — who once called Arabs “filthy” — claimed that Trump didn’t call neo-Nazis “very fine people.”
Trump, of course, did praise Nazis.
When Republicans had the majority in the House, they called witnesses like former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to testify on the Russia investigation. They simply allowed Lewandowski to yell, curse, and obstruct while offering nothing of substance — and then defended him for doing so.
Republicans regularly bring the worst people to testify on their behalf in Congress. It is a feature of the party, not a bug — and it took Ocasio-Cortez only took a short time working alongside them to notice the insulting practice and call them out for it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.