The ideological differences between Democrats have been so prevalent in public opinion that President Nancy Pelosi has firmly told the House Democrats to keep their internal troubles behind closed doors, even though she herself was turning against she apparently has rejected the progressive guns in her caucus.
"Do you have a complaint? You come to talk to me about that. But do not tweet about our members and expect that to be considered correct, "Pelosi told legislators at a private meeting on Tuesday, according to several sources in the room.
Pelosi's comment was directed at the progressive legislators of the House, many of whom criticized their leaders and moderate colleagues for accepting the Senate's $ 4.59-billion supplementary funding bill at the end of June. in June, saying that this legislation was not going well enough to improve standards in detention centers. Finally, only four Democrats voted against this bill: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Ilhan Omar (MN), Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ayanna Pressley (MA), the so-called "progressive" team. . . But since then, the caucus has been fiercely public, and has spread publicly.
"I'm looking for a new pharmaceutical drug that builds the spine," Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Co-Chair of Progressive Caucus, said after the vote on the bill on the border. Co-Chair Mark Pocan (D-WI) tweeted that a bipartisan group of Republicans and moderate Democrats – dominated by the "problem-solving group" – was becoming the "Child Abuse Caucus".
Pelosi also responded to their grievances in public. In an interview with Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, she questioned the actual influence of Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley, women who drew the attention of the newspaper. Democratic Party attention with bold political proposals and a viral presence on the Internet. .
"All these people have their audience and their Twitter universe," Pelosi told Dowd. "But they did not have followers. They are four people and that's how many votes they got. "
Ocasio-Cortez replied on Twitter"This" public ", whatever it is, is called public sentiment." And progressive House leaders came to the defense of the group; Jayapal told reporters that Pelosi's remarks were worrisome, especially as Congress plans to close some of the key pieces of legislation ahead of the parliamentary recess and the end of the fiscal year – from the defense budget to the defense of the government.
Of course, all this is not limited to a few interventions in the media. There is an undeniable divide within the Democratic Party: the new majority in the House has been largely won by the Democrats from the moderate neighborhoods, while the National Democratic Party, and some of the biggest names in 2020, have increasingly embraced the progressive ideas of Medicare-for-All. to a Green New Deal and a free college – all offered by the same four progressive House.
Tensions between Democrats continue to spread publicly
In public, the democratic leadership of the House will tell you that the party is united. During a meeting with reporters, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) repeated many times that progressives would have become part of the Border Financing Bill or that There would be significant struggles for the defense budget that Democrats plan to adopt this week. . Regarding the reactions on Twitter, Hoyer explained that "strong feelings" vis-a-vis clearly emotional policy issues – such as the detention of a child at the border.
That said, Pelosi was firm with lawmakers Tuesday, according to a source in the room, explicitly acknowledging that tensions within the party have spread to the public sphere.
None of this is new. Progressive members of the House have often seen their leaders and moderate colleagues ignore their concerns. It is not just Pelosi's willingness to allow the opening of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump; It has also guided some of the House's legislation to a more moderate terrain. Matt Fuller, from HuffPost, has a good idea of all this, but a brief overview:
The tone was given early. In January, the House adopted a PAYGO rule that requires the government to make up every dollar spent on mandatory programs such a budget reduction or an increase in taxes, which the progressives have explicitly indicated. damaging proposals like Medicare-for-All. Once again, when the progressives challenged the House's proposal to cap the budget, claiming that the House was under-funding national programs and continuing to curb defense spending, the leadership overruled the official budget vote. and instead inserted a provision in a non-related bill that allows credit committees to start drafting spending bills. without the top-line budget numbers. More recently, we received an additional package at the border, where progressive caucus members explicitly admit to being "rolled over".
Pelosi does not hesitate to say that she thinks that the ideas of progressives are too pious. Previously, she called the Green New Deal "ecological dream or whatever they call," saying "no one knows what it is." And his senior staff would have criticized the health care payor unique for the leaders of private insurance companies.
All this has gone public. But it should be noted that this did not change the legislative results; Progressives continue to work with leaders and vote for most democratic proposals.
Pelosi and his team discuss with different party bases
Pelosi told reporters that she did not regret what she had said in the New York Times. She was talking about counting votes – and the progressives did not have the votes to succeed.
That said, it's hard to deny their influence on the party. Like the Washington Post Jeff Stein tweeted, Ocasio-Cortez has been spearheading the Green New Deal, Omar and Jayapal are the sponsors of the House of the Senate's free college proposals Senator Bernie Sanders and the $ 1.6 trillion debt remission, Tlaib has proposed a basic income of $ 3,000 per adult for low-income adults, and Pressley sponsored the House bill to secure the salary arrears of laid-off entrepreneurs.
This list is long. This week, Ocasio-Cortez has partnered with Sanders to propose a climate emergency resolution. She is also working with Senator Kamala Harris on a future social housing bill. Jayapal is working with Harris on an updated worker's charter of rights. These ideas have all appeared on the national scene in the presidential debates and lead the discussion throughout the campaign.
But Pelosi is talking about a different election base: voters from more than two dozen freshmen in the House who toppled the seats held by Republicans in 2018 to win the majority of Democrats.
"Every day, some of our members have to fight for re-election," Pelosi said. "It's easy for me in my district, right? I never have to wonder if a democrat will represent this district, whether it is me or someone else. But in their districts, it makes a difference for what we can do for the American people if we have the majority. "
This is widely understood, including among the progressives. But they are still fighting to be recognized.
"We have all the following," said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). "We all come with our constituents."
"All I'm going to say is, stay awake," Lee said.