The cracks are beginning to show in the weak Democratic coalition. It was inevitable Pelosi would have a backlash from the center and would have to reign in the likes of AOC.
But it seems Pelosi is bowing to the pressure from AOC and will lead the Democrats to ruin in 2020 by losing the middle, as Pelosi did when she had the majority under Obama.
So the moderate Democrats revolted and voted with the GOP on some gun and immigration legislation and the Dems, led by AOC threw a fit in a bad sign for Pelosi.
From The Daily Wire: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who recently declared, “I’m the boss!” is taking her power-hungry dreams to stomp on some of her fellow Democrats, reportedly informing them on Thursday that if they vote with Republicans she will “put them on a list” for a primary challenge.
According to The Washington Post, the Democrats conducted a closed-door session during which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned over twenty supposed moderate members of her party, “We are either a team or we’re not, and we have to make that decision.” The Post then said Ocasio-Cortez, “the unquestioned media superstar of the freshman class, upped the ante, admonishing the moderates and indicating she would help liberal activists unseat them in the 2020 election.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman Corbin Trent added that she fumed that any Democrats voting with Republicans “are putting themselves on a list.” He asserted, in reference to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), “She said that when activists ask her why she had to vote for a gun safety bill that also further empowers an agency that forcibly injects kids with psychotropic drugs, they’re going to want a list of names and she’s going to give it to them.”
From The Hill: More than two dozen Democrats, mostly freshmen from swing districts, crossed the aisle to help Republicans pass a motion to recommit (MTR) — a parliamentary proposal released at the last minute — to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement if an undocumented immigrant tries to buy a gun.
The surprise GOP victory forced Democrats to endorse an immigration policy most oppose to ensure passage of their long-sought background check bill.
At a closed-door Thursday meeting of the Democratic whip team in the Capitol basement, Pelosi and a number of rank-and-file members — including prominent freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — implored their colleagues to reject the GOP procedural gambits, regardless how tough it might seem to vote against them.
But a number of moderate Democrats are vowing to vote however they see fit.
“I vote my district,” Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), who voted in favor of the GOP’s measure, told The Hill Thursday.
Freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) also held firm.
“I always feel responsible for what I vote for,” said Van Drew, who voted against his party on the GOP measure. “And if I believe something makes sense I’ll vote for it; if I think it doesn’t make sense, I won’t vote for it — if it’s an MTR or anything else.”
Democrats say they get where lawmakers like Van Drew are coming from. But they also say their votes are putting the rest of the party in a bad position.
“We certainly understand the situation that the new members feel, and we’re just trying to remind them this is a procedural tool of the minority,” Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said leaving the Thursday meeting. “They have to remember that … the very essence of it is to put them in awkward positions.”
The loss on Wednesday was particularly painful because it was a surprise, and because it came on gun control legislation that’s a cornerstone of the Democratic legislative agenda.
Ocasio-Cortez told her colleagues that she had to explain what unfolded on the floor to the activists seated in the visitors’ gallery, according to a lawmaker in the room.
“These MTRs, they’re designed to be essentially the House version of Trump’s agenda when it comes to dividing people,” Ocasio-Cortez said after the meeting. “They force a zero-sum situation where, in order to get my thing, I have to hurt another person.
“I think it’s something that we need to anticipate and I think it is something we need to be united against.”
For the Democrats, the split starts at the very top. Pelosi has built a long-earned reputation for uniting her caucus against such procedural maneuvers, which she deems “gotcha” votes. But her top lieutenants — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.) — want to give freshmen and other vulnerable lawmakers the freedom to break with the party on tough votes.
“I think we suffer from potentially a lack of consistency in terms of the message that members are getting,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), a chief deputy whip. “I think that’s a problem.”