A GOP representative said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has lost her control over the Democratic Party, as well as congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, claiming that the freshman Democrat is pushing the caucus into radical positions that make it unrecognizable.
Speaking on Fox News on Thursday, Steve Scalise suggested Pelosi has lost control of the Democrats, and that she was ceding influence to the leftist faction that was buoyed by the party’s 2018 midterm election victory.
This, he claimed, was the driver between Pelosi’s decision to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, Newsweek reported.
Ocasio-Cortez was among last year’s intake, and since unseating former House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, the 30-year-old has become one of the most prominent progressive voices within the party. Though still in her first term, Ocasio-Cortez has been tipped as a future party leader.
Asked why Pelosi decided to begin the impeachment of Trump, Scalise said Thursday, “The AOC wing of the party changed and really started controlling her caucus.”
Pelosi was initially hesitant about impeaching the President, suggesting she would only begin proceedings in the face of overwhelming evidence and bipartisan support. But the scandal over the President’s dealings with Ukraine prompted the speaker to file impeachment articles without Republican support.
“It’s no longer Nancy Pelosi calling the shots and I think that anybody who follows the things that she’s been forced into doing, it’s been mostly that far left socialist wing of the party,” he added.
Ocasio-Cortez and her allies have clashed with Pelosi over Democratic policy, though the speaker has been able to avoid the kind of profound party split or progressive coup that some observers had predicted.
“And it’s not just Pelosi—you see AOC shaping the presidential debates,” Scalise continued, citing areas “like the green deal and some of the other lunatic policies.”
He added, “They are pushing the presidential candidates so far to the socialist left that you can’t even recognize them,” Scalise claimed.
The congressman said the candidates are “kowtowing to that most radical element of their base instead of focusing on the bread and butter issues—the things that got them the majority.”
Now, he claimed, the Democrats are focused on “their own power and their hatred against the president.”
The most ambitious leftist policies among the Democratic presidential hopefuls have come from candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, both of whom were working on the Hill long before Ocasio-Cortez came to prominence.