House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is widely considered to be one of the most powerful figures on Capitol Hill, yet according to Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), she isn’t even in control of her own party.
The comments from Scalise came on Friday night during an appearance on The Ingraham Angle, according to Newsweek.
Scalise: Pelosi not calling shots
“Well, the AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] party changed and really started controlling her caucus,” Scalise told guest host Jason Chaffetz after he asked why Pelosi had changed her stance on pursuing impeachment, something about which she had long expressed significant reluctance.
“It’s no longer Nancy Pelosi calling the shots,” the congressman responded, “and you think about anybody who follows in the things that she’s been forced into doing, it’s been mostly the far left socialist wing of the party and it’s not just Pelosi.”
“You see AOC shaping the presidential debates on things like the green deal and some of the other lunatic policies where they are pushing the presidential candidates so far to the socialist left it that you can’t even recognize them,” Scalise added.
He went on to allege that Democrats were “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.”
Radicals gaining influence
Ocasio-Cortez isn’t the only influential radical within her party, with Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) also gaining significant notoriety since their arrival in D.C . After her election to the House in 2018, Tlaib said of President Trump, “We’re going to impeach the motherf—-r,” and then began selling t-shirts bearing that incendiary slogan.
Meanwhile, Omar has been embroiled in multiple controversies of her own since taking office. Among them was her decision to introduce a resolution in the House that compared Israel to Nazi Germany.
Ocasio-Cortez and Scalise have come into direct conflict in the past. In 2018, she accused him of not understanding the fundamentals of federal taxation and helping CEOs at the expense of workers.
“You’re the GOP Minority Whip. How do you not know how marginal tax rates work?” the New York Democrat tweeted last January.
“Oh that’s right,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, “almost forgot: GOP works for the corporate CEOs showering themselves in multi-million bonuses; not the actual working people whose wages and healthcare they’re ripping off for profit.”
That came in response to a tweet from Scalise in which he claimed Republicans want to “let Americans keep more of their own hard-earned money” whereas Democrats seek to “take away 70 percent of your income and give it to leftist fantasy programs.”