Rep. Michelle Steel argues the "Greater Accountability from Lawmakers for Americans Act," or GALA Act, is necessary to provide “transparency” and accountability.
Published: 2021-09-16 12:46 pm
AOC’s Met Gala appearance sparks new ‘GALA’ law

A freshman Republican congresswoman is taking aim at Democratic socialism-preaching Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Met Gala appearance by leading the charge on legislation that would require lawmakers to disclose their participation in charity events where the ticket value exceeds $2,000. 

Progressive darling AOC has come under fire from Republicans and even her own far-left base for attending the $35,000-a-ticket gala while wearing a custom gown that said “Tax the Rich” across the back in big red lettering — with critics arguing her message was hypocritical given the event caters to the wealthy and high-profile celebrities. 

Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) argues that the “Greater Accountability from Lawmakers for Americans Act,” or GALA Act, is necessary to provide “transparency” and accountability, changing rules to require members to explain how the event pertains to their official duties if the attendance requirements are above a certain price threshold. 

Rep. Michelle Steel made a motion to enact the “Greater Accountability from Lawmakers for Americans Act,” or GALA Act, after AOC attended the Met Gala on September 30, 2021, for free.
Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

“This is about transparency and holding officials accountable for the job they were elected to do. If Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was truly attending a multimillion-dollar event in her official capacity, she should have no problem sharing more details with the people she represents,” Steel said. 

“Updating these House Ethics rules will require more accountability from your representatives, and that’s something we can all support.”

The proposed legislation would be similar to the disclosure required for members and staff when going on legislative trips and junkets. 

The white gown that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore to the Met Gala on September 13, 2021, that has “Tax the Rich” in big red letters on the back.
Jamie McCarthy/MG21/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez departs the 2021 Met Gala wearing a dress that says “Tax the Rich.”
Jamie McCarthy/MG21/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Under House of Representatives rules, members are permitted to accept unsolicited invitations to charity events. The Met Gala raises funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, but conservatives have questioned whether the event is permissible since the guest list is extremely limited.

A conservative group is asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch an investigation of AOC for accepting the free tickets to Monday’s Met Gala.

Thomas Jones, founder of the American Accountability Foundation, wrote in an ethics complaint that he believes Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens, broke House rules by accepting “an impermissible gift” of free tickets to attend the annual gala, which also was attended by fellow New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney.

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