The quarrel between the two politicians began over the weekend after New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported that Pelosi believes AOC and her “squad” (Congresswomen like Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) made themselves “irrelevant” by voting against a Democrat bill:
I asked Pelosi whether, after being the subject of so many you-go-girl memes for literally clapping back at Trump, it was jarring to get a bad headline like the one in HuffPost that day — “What The Hell Is Nancy Pelosi Doing?” The article described the outrage of the Squad, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts are known.
Pelosi feels that the four made themselves irrelevant to the process by voting against “our bill,” as she put it, which she felt was the strongest one she could get. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” she said. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
Ultimately, Ocasio-Cortez spoke to the Washington Post where she claimed Pelosi’s “signaling out” of “newly elected women of color” was disrespectful.
“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 said. “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.”
**Update: the Congresswoman says Pelosi “absolutely not” racist:
I asked AOC if she thinks Pelosi has racial animus or is racist, and she said: “No, no, absolutely not, absolutely not.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 11, 2019
On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez told New Yorker Radio Hour that she wonders if her assignment to some of the “busiest committees” was a strategic move designed to keep her busy.
“I was assigned to some of the busiest committees and four subcommittees,” AOC said. “So my hands are full. And sometimes I wonder if they’re trying to keep me busy.”
She also said during the interview that she had no special relationship with Pelosi.
“[We don’t have a relationship] that’s I think distinguished from anyone else,” she said. “Like, if there’s a legislative need, you know. The last time I kind of spoke to her one-on-one was when she asked me to join the Select Committee on Climate Change … I said no.”