MSNBC Panel Weighs In On House Democrats’ Infighting

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi departs a press conference at the U.S. Capitol.
Win McNamee / Getty Images

During the latest edition of MSNBC’s Am Joy broadcast on Saturday, host Joy Reid and a panel on her show discussed the ongoing tensions among House Democrats, Mediaite reports.

Reid, former congresswoman Donna Edwards, and legal expert Elie Mystal weighed in on the situation, sharing their opinions about the conflict between the progressive group lead by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the group of Democrats lead by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“There are four star freshmen who get a lot of attention,” Reid said of Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow progressives, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley.

“It probably annoys other members of Congress, to be blunt. Then they’re standing out and going their own way on issues and bills,” she said.

Edwards disagreed with the host, suggesting that the age difference between Pelosi and the progressives is causing friction, as well as the fact that some of the progressives “came from the outside, some of them beating well-liked incumbents.”

“I think that is causing some friction both within the caucus and outside. But look, the bottom line is they do need each other,” she argued.

Elie Mystal suggested that he welcomes the conflict, arguing that the battle needs to be fought out in order to help the Democratic Party clear itself of “bad blood.”

“One of the problems we had in 2016 is that we didn’t have this fight in 2016,” he said, referencing similar tensions between left-leaning Democrats supportive of Bernie Sanders, and establishment Democrats supportive of Hillary Clinton.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the tensions between left-wing Democrats and the group of self-described centrists led by Pelosi escalated following the speaker’s decision to pass a Senate bill expanding funding for the Donald Trump’s immigration authorities.

Pelosi came across intense criticism from progressives for not negotiating better conditions for children detained at the border, which prompted her to dismiss the left-wing group in an interview with The New York Times. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley hit back at the top Democrat, with the dispute evolving into what appears to be an ideological conflict.

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Progressive groups and activists have joined the fight as well, accusing Pelosi and party leadership of focusing on silencing dissenting voices within their party instead of challenging and opposing the Trump administration’s immigration policy.

At Netroots Nation, a progressive gathering held on Saturday, organizers and activists criticized the leadership, expressing support for Ocasio-Cortez and others.

Prominent activist groups, including Justice Democrats, Democracy for America, CREDO Action, and Progressive Change Campaign Committee, released a joint statement, siding with the left flank of the party.