Congress

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to meet one-on-one

A rift between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez has deepened in recent weeks

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., center, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., left, pose for a group photo of House Democrats in the Capitol Visitor Center, at the State of the Union address earlier this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will sit down with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez amid a public feud between the party leader and the progressive star.

The speaker’s office received a request from Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday afternoon to meet one-on-one, according to Pelosi’s spokesman, and their offices are working to schedule the meeting.

“Our teams are in communication. Our chiefs are meeting,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview on CBS News Tuesday night.

Pelosi’s chief of staff has already met with the four chiefs of the staff to the first-term lawmakers known as the “squad,” the speaker’s office said.

Details about what the congresswomen will discuss are unclear. Representatives for the four progressive members and Pelosi did not return questions about what their staffers addressed in their meeting.

A rift between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez has deepened in the weeks following the defeat of an amendment to a border spending package meant to safeguard the human rights of migrants that was favored by the progressive quartet. Bowing to moderates in her caucus, Pelosi passed a bill directing billions of dollars to the agencies that patrol the border and detain migrants that didn’t include those safeguards.

Ocasio-Cortez, along with Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna S. Pressley, then escalated their condemnation of the treatment of migrants detained by the U.S. during a trip to Customs and Border Patrol facilities, calling attention to squalid, overcrowded conditions and neglect.

Pelosi dismissed Ocasio-Cortez and her allies in an interview with the New York Times and criticized their Twitter use in a closed-door party meeting.

“You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just okay,” Pelosi said  in the meeting. “This is a team. On a team you play as a team.”

Tlaib pushed back on that criticism on CBS Tuesday night, calling attention to the realities of Capitol Hill dynamics, and the fact that the speaker outranks the first-term lawmaker.

“She has every right to sit down with her in any moment, in any time, with any of us. She is Speaker of the House. She can ask for a meeting to sit down with us for clarification,” Tlaib said. “Acknowledge the fact that we are women of color, so when you do single us out, be aware of that and what you’re doing, especially because some of us are getting death threats, because some of us are being singled out in many ways because of our backgrounds, because of our experiences and so forth.”

A vote on a resolution put forward by Pelosi to condemn President Donald Trump’s racist tweets about the progressive foursome united the Democratic caucus Tuesday and stanched headlines about the clash.

Still, President Donald Trump has exploited the party’s fractures. His missive telling the four congresswomen to “go back” to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” the tweets the caucus voted to rebuke, included an allusion to these tensions: “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

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