A divide between moderate Democrats and more progressive Democrats might be on the mend following a meeting between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday.
Following the meeting, Pelosi told reporters that the meeting between the two congresswomen was productive, though she downplayed its importance.
“I have meetings with members all the time. I wish you would be interested in them [like the meeting] yesterday on the subject of more funding for committee health centers, more concern about what’s happening at the border,” the house speaker said, per The Hill.
Ocasio-Cortez did not comment on the meeting, The Hill reported.
The meeting came amid rising tensions within the Democratic Party between moderate and more progressive members.
In a Thursday morning tweet, Pelosi shared a photo of her with Ocasio-Cortez and said the pair talked about issues ranging from the economy to diversity.
Tensions between Pelosi and the congresswoman, who is often referred to by her initials “AOC,” arose after disagreements over a bill that addressed the migrant crisis at the southern border.
More progressive Democrats had refused to vote for the initial bill, which was backed by party leadership, and said they feared that the Trump administration would direct the money from humanitarian aid provisions for migrants to immigration enforcement, per CNN.
Today, Congresswoman @RepAOC and I sat down to discuss working together to meet the needs of our districts and our country, fairness in our economy and diversity in our country. pic.twitter.com/eVp1LS0Gpw— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 26, 2019
“I don’t believe it was a good idea for Dems to blindly trust the Trump admin when so many kids have died in their custody,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at the time. “It’s a huge mistake.”
Pelosi then took aim at Ocasio-Cortez and the four other progressive freshman members of congress, who are known as the “Squad,” criticizing the group for its regular use of Twitter and noting that they had no “following” in Congress, as the four members were the only four Democrats to vote “no” on the border bill, per CNN. The house speaker said that in voting against the border bill, the four members became “irrelevant to the process.”
Tensions rose further after Pelosi and moderate Democrats accepted a Senate version of a bill, which excluded protections for detained migrants. At the time, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff took to Twitter and accused moderate Democrats of racism, per The Hill.
Ocasio-Cortez would later note that she believed Pelosi was singling out members of color, The Hill reported.
But the tensions between the two seemed to ease after a tweet last week from President Trump that directed the “squad,” which includes Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, to “go back” to their ancestral countries. As has been widely reported, all of the representatives in question are U.S. citizens.
Pelosi rushed to the defense of the congresswoman, and led an effort to pass a House resolution to condemn the president’s statements, per Vanity Fair. As Vanity Fair noted, Trump’s tweet allowed the house speaker to get back on track following the public feud with the progressives, which the outlet says was her first major spat since assuming her current role in January.