Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit back at Nancy Pelosi after the House Speaker criticized her and three other far-left Democrats in Congress for failing to support a Democratic leadership backed immigration measure during a recent White House-Capitol Hill dispute over funding for the border crisis.
After strong pushback from progressives, Democrats added more provisions to an appropriations bill to address the humanitarian crisis at the border. But some on the far left felt they could not support the bill no matter what, because they felt it would still fund the President’s border policies.
Ocasio-Cortez argued that Democrats cannot trust the Trump administration not to divert money for humanitarian aid toward immigration enforcement – a comment that comes after the President acknowledged that ICE raids would begin after the Fourth of July.
“I don’t believe it was a good idea for Dems to blindly trust the Trump admin when so many kids have died in their custody. It’s a huge mistake,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday, echoing comments she made to CNN following the June vote on border funding.
The New York Democrat was responding to remarks Pelosi made in an interview with the New York Times where Pelosi slammed four liberal members of Congress – Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley – who broke with moderates and voted against the bill.
“All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi said in the interview with Times’ columnist Maureen Dowd published Saturday. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
A spokesman for Pelosi said Monday that the House speaker’s comments were not in reference to passage of a bipartisan Senate bill that was ultimately approved by Congress but instead specifically addressing a lack of support those members of Congress had for the previous border security funding bill in the House that included the extra provisions. The four Democratic congresswomen were the only Democrats who voted against it.
That bill still passed but it was not taken up by the Senate, as the White House had promised to veto it. The Senate instead passed their bipartisan bill and pressured the House to accept it. Democratic leaders at first added some of the progressive demands to the Senate bill, but then backed down after moderate Democrats threatened to take down the amended bill.
On Sunday, Tlaib responded to a comment Pelosi made in the Times that the progressive cohort made themselves “irrelevant to the process” by voting against the House funding bill.
“We know what it feels like to be dehumanized, we know what it feels like to be brown and black in this country,” Tlaib said on ABC’s “This Week,” referring to the four singled-out congresswomen.
“I honor the fact that we are there … all of us have these experiences that I think have been missing in the halls of Congress. Honor that, respect that, put us at the table. Let’s come up with a solution together,” Tlaib said. “Still, I will not support anything that is broken and that dehumanizes people.”
Pelosi has continued to push the President to make administrative changes that mirror some of the demands that progressives made, like notifying Congress within 24 hours of the death of a child in custody of federal agencies, for example.
“We have to have a solution, not just a Twitter fight,” Pelosi told the Times.
Ocasio-Cortez and Pelosi appear to have differing views on the power of Twitter when it comes to politics.
“While there are people who have a large number of Twitter followers, what’s important is that we have large numbers of votes on the floor of the House,” Pelosi said, responding to an article that detailed the outrage by several members of Congress.
Ocasio-Cortez fired back at Pelosi, saying Saturday on Twitter, “I find it strange when members act as though social media isn’t important,” she tweeted. “I haven’t dialed for dollars *once* this year & have more time to do my actual job. Yet we’d rather campaign like it’s 2008.”
Omar also weighed in Sunday about Pelosi’s comments.
“You know they’re just salty about WHO is wielding the power to shift ‘public sentiment’ these days, sis,” Omar wrote on Twitter. “Sorry not sorry.”
CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to reflect that Pelosi’s comments to The New York Times were intended to address a House bill on immigration before the Senate’s bill was passed.
CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.