(LibertySociety.com) – Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, has been under scrutiny over unpaid expenses she incurred for her attendance at the Met Gala in 2021. The U.S. House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into the lawmaker back in December 2022, offering no details at the time as to what the complaint was about. The House Ethics Committee is a bipartisan group of lawmakers that sets rules for House members, conducts investigations, and recommends actions from the results of their investigations.
On March 2nd, 2023, members of the House Ethics Committee issued a statement revealing that they decided back in December to extend their review into allegations against Ocasio-Cortez. The same day, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) released a report on the matter, which revealed that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez may have accepted gifts at the gala that were not allowed. The lawmaker failed to pay for goods and services she received at the gala, totaling thousands of dollars. According to reports, she said she “just never, ever, ever would have allowed that to happen” if she knew what she knows now, adding that she did not have access to invoices for the expenses. A staffer who is no longer working for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has taken the blame for the unpaid expenses, stating that the delay was due to inaccessibility to personal credit cards of the lawmaker.
The OCE divulged in the report that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez “may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law,” citing two House Rules. They had recommended that the House Ethics Committee conduct a “further review” into the matter.
The lawmaker reportedly received multiple fashion-related gifts, including shoes, jewelry, a handbag, and the often-memed dress featuring her favorite political slogan. She also received multiple accommodations to prepare herself for the event, all of which could have violated ethics rules if not paid for. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez failed to pay the expenses that were due until the committee contacted her regarding the complaint.
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