Tensions between U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of her congressional caucus have reportedly simmered in the background for several years, though recent events suggest the disputes are set to boil over.
While Pelosi has made some waves within her party by backing Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) in his primary challenge against incumbent Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), several other prominent Democrats are making their differences of opinion clear, as reported by The Hill.
“I know his leadership”
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) exemplified this trend when he threw his support behind Markey in a recent statement.
“I know his character, and I know his leadership,” he said of the senator seeking re-election.
Nadler said that Markey “is the right candidate to fight for the working families in Massachusetts and bring bold, progressive ideas to Congress.”
His endorsement went on to describe the incumbent candidate as “a champion for climate action, universal health care, and social justice,” asserting that “he leads and he delivers” on each issue.
Echoing those remarks was House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, who said she was “grateful to Ed for his visionary leadership, and energized by his passion and unfailing commitment to serving the people of Massachusetts and our country,” as Fox News reported.
“A cherry-picking activity”
Meanwhile, Pelosi is publicly backing Kennedy. The decision has resulted in allegations of hypocrisy from some fellow Democrats after the speaker’s track record of opposing primary-election challengers.
“No one gets to complain about primary challenges again,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who added that such opposition “seems like less a policy and more a cherry-picking activity.”
A member of the so-called “squad,” or a group of freshmen lawmakers representing the far-left faction of the Democratic Party, Ocasio-Cortez has reportedly locked horns with Pelosi in the past.
In a Washington Post interview last year, she said she found it “disrespectful” to see leadership’s “explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”
While Pelosi has long attempted to paint her caucus as unified in its policy agenda and positions, rifts like the one that opened in the Markey-Kennedy race undermine that argument.