Two representatives-elect who have been embraced by the ‘squad’ wouldn’t say whether they will vote for Nancy Pelosi‘s reelection as House Speaker in two years after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the Democratic Party needs new, more progressive leadership.
Both incoming Democratic representatives Cori Bush of Missouri’s 1st congressional district and Jamaal Bowman of New York’s 16th district said they are more focused on the recent coronavirus relief, which they say should include bigger direct checks for struggling Americans.
‘What I’m going to do is make sure that the voices of the people of Saint Louis are heard and that we have what we need. And so you will find out then,’ Bush told CNN when asked Sunday morning if she would vote for Pelosi’s reelection.
‘That’s not a yes,’ Dana Bash, who filled in for ‘State of the Union’ host Jake Tapper this weekend, said.
‘I’m working with my community,’ Bush responded – still not answering the question.
Bowman was just as noncommittal about which way he will vote once it comes time for Democratic caucus leadership elections.
‘So, you will find out when my vote is tallied,’ Bowman said. ‘And, again, organizing with our community to figure out what’s best.’
Representatives-elect Cori Bush (right) and Jamaal Bowman (left) refused to say if they would vote for Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker in two years – claiming they are more focused on the recent coronavirus relief
The comments came after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said earlier this month that the Democratic Party needs new, more progressive leadership
Pelosi easily won reelection for her long-held leadership position – running unopposed for the speakership.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also ran unopposed and sailed to reelection.
New York Representative Ocasio-Cortez, the unofficial leader of the ‘squad’ and self-proclaimed Democrtic socialist, suggested earlier this month she would not support Pelosi if she ran again. She claimed it’s time for new, more progressive leadership for the Democratic Party.
The 31-year-old New York representative admitted at the time that even if Pelosi, 80, and Schumer, 70, were to go, the progressive wing of the party has no plan on who would fill those vacancies. She said she can’t be the one to take on a bigger role right now.
Ocasio-Cortez said the replacement for Pelosi and Schumer could end up being worse and ‘even more conservative’ than the current Democratic leaders.
‘How do we fill that vacuum? Because if you create that vacuum, there are so many nefarious forces at play to fill that vacuum with something even worse,’ Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept podcast ‘Intercepted’ on December 16.
‘And so, the actual sad state of affairs is that there are folks more conservative than even they are willing to kind of fill that void,’ she said.
‘The House is extraordinarily complex and I’m not ready,’ Ocasio-Cortez said when it was suggested she could take a leadership position in two years. ‘It can’t be me. I know that I couldn’t do that job.’
Bowman and Bush both said during their interview Sunday that Donald Trump needs to sign the latest bipartisan coronavirus relief legislation, which was overwhelmingly passed by Congress on Tuesday and passed off to the president for his signature.
‘The American people need relief right now,’ Bowman said when Bash asked him if it was OK for Pelosi to accept a deal that included $600 checks for Americans.
Trump suggested he would veto the legislation if payments were not tripled to $2,000 checks.
Donald Trump has suggested he will veto the $900 billion coroanvirus relief package, insisting the $600 direct checks for Americans should be tripled to $2,000 – a plan embraced by Democrats and snubbed by Republicans
Democrats were quick to jump on board with claiming they could pass a separate bill increasing payments, but are pushing for the president to sign the sweeping legislation currently sitting on his desk to deliver relief immediately and avoid a government shutdown.
‘So, this bill was what we were able to come up with at this moment,’ Bowman said. ‘But we need to go right back to the table to give people more in terms of relief.’
‘The president is the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with this country,’ the incoming lawmaker said. ‘He’s a privileged person who rose to power as a reality TV star. And now he’s trying to drive this country into chaos. I can’t wait for him to be out of office’
Pelosi, along with the rest of congressional leadership, vowed not to leave Capitol Hill for holiday recess until a deal was reached on the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package.
They spent the days leading up to the holiday staying in Washington D.C. to negotiate after nine months of deadlock.