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Ocasio-Cortez Admits to Violation Of House Rule Regarding Financial Disclosures

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the self-described democratic socialist from New York, appears to be in some hot water.

The Bronx-based lawmaker has admitted, via a spokesperson, that she violated congressional financial disclosure rules, according to the Washington Examiner.

The outlet adds:

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Ocasio-Cortez was due to report her 2021 finances to the House Ethics Committee 11 days ago on Aug. 13. However, the public remains in the dark as to the status of Ocasio-Cortez’s finances as of Wednesday morning, and a spokeswoman for the New York lawmaker said Ocasio-Cortez feels no rush to file her disclosure as required by federal law because she can wait another 20 days before risking a fine.

“The committee provides a 30-day grace period before fines are levied. The congresswoman plans to file before the period expires,” said Ocasio-Cortez communications director Lauren Hitt in a statement to the outlet Tuesday evening.

In April, the outlet noted, Ocasio-Cortez said that democracy in America is undermined when members of Congress only appear to have behaved improperly regarding their personal finances.

“AOC,” as she is colloquially known, is one of just 10 lawmakers who have yet to file their required 2021 financial disclosure forms. Nearly all members of the House are required to submit it by Aug. 13.

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“Other notable lawmakers who have yet to file their 2021 disclosures include Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and outgoing Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI),” the Examiner reported.

Ocasio-Cortez faces a fine of just $200 if she fails to file her disclosures during the allotted 30-day grace period. But, the Examiner reported. “it’s not the first time the lawmaker has exploited the 30-day grace period to delay publicly disclosing her finances without financial penalty.”

She filed her 2019 financial disclosures exactly 30 days late in September 2020, narrowly avoiding having to pay the fine, the outlet said.

“Not only is she an admitted scofflaw — she’s a repeat offender,” Paul Kamenar, an attorney for the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative ethics watchdog group, told the outlet. “One must wonder whether she also files her income tax returns past the deadlines.”

“Just like AOC did in 2020 when she filed her 2019 disclosure report 30 days late after the 90-day extension, she’s at it again, blowing off the deadline for filing her 2021 filing that was due on Aug. 13,” Kamenar noted further.

Meanwhile, in July, fines were piling up for Ocasio-Cortez over her failure to resolve a state tax warrant filed against her defunct business five years ago.

Ironically enough, the socialist lawmaker who wants to raise taxes on many Americans apparently has refused to pay her own taxes.

“New York state filed a tax warrant against Brook Avenue Press, a children-focused publishing house Ocasio-Cortez founded in 2012, on July 6, 2017, to collect $1,618 in unpaid corporate taxes. Ocasio-Cortez has yet to pay a penny of her overdue corporate taxes, causing the current balance of the tax warrant to swell by 52% to $2,461 as of Wednesday afternoon,” the Washington Examiner reported at the time.

“New York dissolved Brook Avenue Press in October 2016, state corporate records show. The state filed its tax warrant against Ocasio-Cortez’s defunct business about two months after she launched her successful primary campaign against former Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY),” the Examiner added.

The Bronx County Clerk’s Office confirmed the tax warrant against Ocasio-Cortez’s business is still open.

AOC argued in 2019 that she was unaware of the tax warrant against her former business until after she was sworn into Congress in January of that year.

Ocasio-Cortez went from saying she planned to repay her delinquent corporate tax bill to then claiming the warrant was issued “in error” and that she was disputing it with the Bronx County Clerk’s Office.

“The congresswoman is still in the process of contesting the tax warrant. The business has been closed for several years now, and so we believe that the state Tax Department has continued to collect the franchise tax in error,” Ocasio-Cortez spokeswoman Lauren Hitt told the New York Post in May 2020.

“As anyone who’s tried to contest a tax bill in error knows, it takes time,” Hitt added.



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