She’s the queen of Twitter — but less successful at lawmaking.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was among the least effective members of the last Congress, according to a new survey from the nonpartisan Center for Effective Lawmaking — a joint project of Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia.
Ocasio-Cortez introduced a total of 21 bills that the center defined as “substantive” — but that is where the story ends. 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.
“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, told The Post.
“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.”
When looking at the legislative effectiveness of all congressional Democrats, AOC was ranked 230th out of 240 Democrats. Among the 19 Democratic lawmakers from New York, she ranked last.
Democratic House insiders said many of Ocasio-Cortez’s colleagues found her approach alienating.
“Tweeting is easy, governing is hard. You need to have friends. You need to understand the committee process, you need to be willing to make sacrifices,” said one. “Her first day in Congress … she decided to protest outside of Nancy Pelosi’s office.”
A second Democratic insider who worked with her in the New York delegation added that “legislation was never her focus. It was media and narrative.”
Across the aisle, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., told The Post, “Her ludicrous policy ideas would destroy our country — Americans should be thankful she’s not effective.”
As a current freshman, Malliotakis does not appear on the list.
Represenatives for Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.
Fellow Democratic socialist “Squad” members fared better than AOC. Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar sponsored 33 bills that also went nowhere, earning her 214th place, while Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib saw three of her substantive bills advance into committee — with one ultimately becoming law. She ranked 92nd.
Things weren’t much better over in the Senate where New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand clocked in at 39 of 45 — with none of the substantive bills she proposed becoming law. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer landed at 33 — though Wiseman stressed that politicians in leadership positions often fared poorly, as their jobs required them to assist other members with their initiatives.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Empire State — which benefited from a large bench of lefty warhorses with clout in the chamber.
Westchester Rep. Nita Lowey, who retired last year after a 32-year career in Congress, was declared the House’s most successful Democrat in her final term, a ranking she snagged largely owing to her job as chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee. Of 29 major bills she introduced, seven ultimately became law. Ranking just behind her as the chamber’s third most-effective Democrat was Manhattan’s Carolyn Maloney.
Among Republicans, Syracuse’s John Katko was a major standout, with six of his substantive bills passing the House (none became law) despite his party being in the minority. He was the highest-rated New York Republican and ranked third overall among his colleagues.
Tom Reed, a Republican from Corning, scored the lowest of state GOP lawmakers who completed a full term, but still placed a respectable 45th out of 205, with 11 substantive bills sponsored and one becoming law.
This story first appeared in the New York Post.
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