House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to include equal increases in defense and non-defense spending in the two-year budget agreement with the Trump administration, Reuters news agency reports.
“The two-year budget agreement we are working to achieve should provide equal increases in the defense base and the non-defense base over the next two fiscal years,” the top Democrat said.
“We all agree on the need to address the debt limit, but we also must reach an agreement on spending priorities based upon the principle of parity as soon as possible.”
In a Twitter message discussing her letter to Mnuchin, Pelosi urged the treasury secretary to provide “additional funding for our heroic veterans.”
As Reuters notes, the most powerful Democrat in the country also asked Mnuchin to provide $9 billion in additional funds for the VA Mission Act, which is meant to to improve healthcare for American military veterans by allowing them to obtain additional care.
Pelosi’s request comes amid the escalating feud between her and progressive Democrats in the House. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Pelosi and her colleagues have feuded with the left wing of the party over the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The progressives squad of House Democrats — which consists of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — criticized the speaker’s decision to pass a Senate bill providing more funding for the Trump administration’s anti-immigration initiatives without attempting to negotiate better conditions for those in detention centers.
In response to pressure, Pelosi dismissed the lawmakers in an interview with the New York Times, prompting them to respond by accusing the speaker of singling out women of color. This further escalated the conflict, which now involves party leadership and progressive activist organizations.
The top Democrat’s feud with members of her own caucus predates the past week, however. Progressives in the House have taken a more aggressive approach toward Trump, while Pelosi has consistently spoken out against impeachment.
President Trump backed Pelosi, defending her against what he claims are accusations of racism.
At the Netroots Nation conference held on Saturday, which Pelosi did not attend, activists criticized the speaker’s reluctance to embrace progressive policies, slamming her for attacking Ocasio-Cortez and her allies.
During the event, in what appeared to be a jab at Pelosi and Democratic leadership, Omar said that the progressives are “not really in the business of asking for the share of that power.”
“We’re in the business of trying to grab that power,” she said.