House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is said to have more tough words for the far-left “Squad” in a forthcoming biography of the longtime California Democrat.
Pelosi opened up about her relationship with the Squad — comprised of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — during a series of interviews for USA Today’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page’s book Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power.
“You’re not a one-person show. This is the Congress of the United States,” the speaker, deploying a child-like tone, riffed on the subject of Ocasio-Cortez, according to Axios.
Pelosi’s remarks targeting the Squad come as little surprise. Ocasio-Cortez and the speaker have shared a frosty relationship since the New York Democrat entered Congress following a shock victory over House Democrat Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) in 2019.
In December 2020, Ocasio-Cortez declared Pelosi and then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) should be replaced as Democrat congressional leaders.
“A lot of this is not just about these two personalities, but also about the structural shifts that these two personalities have led in their time in leadership,” the lawmaker told The Intercept. “The structural shifts of power in the House, both in process and rule, to concentrate power in party leadership of both parties, frankly, but in Democratic Party leadership to such a degree that an individual member has far less power than they did 30, 40, 50 years ago.”
The conflict between Pelosi and the Squad began to bubble to the surface in June 2019 over a contentious border aide bill, leading the speaker to downplay the progressive clique’s lack of power over effecting policy.
“All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi told The New York Times at the time.
“But they didn’t have any following,” the speaker added. “They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”
Tensions came to a boil the next month when Ocasio-Cortez accused Pelosi of targeting women of color, seemingly calling the speaker’s actions racist.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post at the time. “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.”
Days later, Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez held a private meeting in an effort at reconciliation, which led to the speaker later emerging from the tete-a-tete to say that the two lawmakers do “not have that many differences.”
“I don’t think there ever was any hatchet. We’re in a political arena,” she added. “In a family, you have your differences but you’re still a family.”