House Dems clash as progressives demand moderates vote with party

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Infighting erupted Thursday between House Democrats, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) demanding a roomful of moderates halt their support of Republican motions, with echoes from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who suggested that progressives challenge moderates in 2020, the Washington Post reports.

The backdrop: This comes after Wednesday’s historic vote to expand background checks for gun purchases, in which Republicans — thanks to some Democratic support — added a provision for immigration authorities to receive alerts if undocumented immigrants try to buy firearms. Pelosi asserted that Democrats should vote uniformly against Republican motions, but some Democrats fired back that moderates should break with the party if it protects their political standing in 2020. Per the Post: "Republicans have capitalized on the divide, using legislative tactics to split politically vulnerable moderates from the party leadership."