Jul 11, 2019

AOC says Pelosi is "singling out" women of color in Congress

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Donna Shalala listen to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of "singling out" newly elected women of color in Congress, in an interview with the Washington Post on Wednesday.

"When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood. But the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color."

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez made the comments after Pelosi warned progressives in a closed-door meeting Wednesday to privately air party grievances, according to WashPost, Politico, USA Today and other outlets, citing sources present in the room.

  • The outlets quote Pelosi as saying, "You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK."
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) told WashPost she found Pelosi's comments "demoralizing."
"I am worried about the signal that it sends to people I speak to and for, who sent me here with a mandate, and how it affects them."
— Rep. Pressley

Context: Both parties have publicly aired disagreements in recent days. On Saturday, Pelosi singled out Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ocasio-Cortez in an interview with the New York Times.

"All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got."
  • Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response, "That public 'whatever' is called public sentiment. And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country." 

Why it matters: The situation highlights the political and generational divide between the most powerful woman in U.S. politics and the progressives trying to push the party left, as WashPost notes.

Go deeper

House progressives speak out amid Pelosi tension

Reps. Ilhan Omar (L), Ayanna Pressley (C) and Rashida Tlaib. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

During a Netroots Nation panel discussion on Saturday, liberal freshman lawmakers addressed struggles they'd faced and the importance of women of color speaking up, amid tension between Democratic progressives and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

What they're saying: Days after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) accused Pelosi of "singling out" newly elected women of color, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) noted there's a struggle "oftentimes with people who have power about sharing that power. ... We’re in the business of trying to grab that power and return it to the people."

Go deeperArrowJul 14, 2019

AOC says she's "absolutely" willing to meet with Pelosi

Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The 4 progressive Democrats targeted by President Trump dismissed him as a "bully" over his racist tweets and revealed they're willing to resolve differences with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an interview broadcast on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday.

Details: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley recorded their first interview addressing Trump's Twitter attacks just before the House condemned him for racism. While they didn't hold back in their criticism of Trump or Republicans, they were more conciliatory toward Pelosi.

Go deeperArrowJul 17, 2019

Bernie Sanders says Nancy Pelosi is "a little bit" tough on AOC's squad

Sen. Bernie Sanders said on NBC's"Meet the Press" on Sunday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been "a little bit" tough on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her allies.

The big picture: The riff escalated when the speaker criticized the Ocasio-Cortez and three others for having no following in the chamber, only on Twitter. Ocasio-Cortez fired back at Pelosi, accusing her of "singling out" women of color in Congress.

Go deeperArrowJul 14, 2019