Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims that some Republican lawmakers were ‘in on’ the Capitol riot and shouldn’t sit on the investigative committee

AOC
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Monday, August 24, 2020.

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warned her Democratic colleagues to “be careful” about which Republicans they allow to sit on the committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
  • “There are indications that some of these folks were in on it, & we can’t have them be a part of the investigation,” she tweeted.
  • Just two House Republicans voted for the committee after the party torpedoed a bipartisan commission last month.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warned her Democratic colleagues to “be careful” about which Republicans they allow to sit on the select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 capitol riot because she claimed some GOP members “were in on it.”

On Wednesday, the House voted almost entirely along party lines to form a select committee to investigate the events of Jan. 6. The 13-member committee will be comprised of eight members selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and five selected “after consultation with the minority leader.” Republicans, who torpedoed a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol riot, called the select committee “rigged from the start.”

“We need a Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6th domestic terrorist attack,” the congresswoman tweeted on Wednesday night. “But we must also be careful about any Republicans that may serve on the committee. There are indications that some of these folks were in on it, & we can’t have them be a part of the investigation.”

A slew of Republican lawmakers, including Reps. Paul Gosar, Matt Gaetz, Andrew Clyde, have attempted to minimize the Capitol riot and spread conspiracy theories about the events.

Since January, Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly said that she and some of her Democratic colleagues don’t feel safe around certain Republican members, including those who’ve voiced support for dangerous conspiracy theories like QAnon and lied about the outcome of the 2020 election.

Other lawmakers, including Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, have suggested that Republican members of Congress were implicated in the deadly Capitol attack. Cheney was one of just two House Republicans to vote for the select committee on Wednesday.

Cheney, who was ousted from GOP leadership for repeatedly blaming Trump for the riot, has said that members of her party are worried about found guilty of encouraging or otherwise being involved with the attack.

“There is real concern among a number of members of my own party about a January 6 commission,” Cheney said. “That kind of intense, narrow focus threatens people in my party who may have been playing a role they should not have been playing.”

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House passes bill to make Juneteenth a national holiday and sends it to Biden’s desk to be signed into law

Juneteenth 2019 Milwaukee Wisconsin
A 2019 Juneteenth parade in Milwaukee.

  • The House on Wednesday passed a bill to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
  • June 19 marks the day people who were enslaved in the US were emancipated.
  • The Senate passed the bill on Tuesday, and it now heads over to Biden’s desk for his signature.
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The House on Wednesday passed bipartisan legislation to make June 19, known as Juneteenth, a national holiday celebrating the emancipation of people who were enslaved in the US.

The bill passed by 415-14 vote, with all votes against it coming from Republicans.

“It has been a long journey,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Houston and author of the bill, said on the floor. “This bill and this day is about freedom.”

The bill passed the Senate 24 hours earlier, winning unanimous support on Tuesday. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it into law ahead of this weekend’s annual celebration.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, had been vocally opposed to the legislation, saying that it was too costly to give federal employees another day off work. But he ended his blockade of the bill on Tuesday, which allowed the Senate to move forward.

In the House Wednesday, Republican objections largely focused on process, with speakers complaining about the bill being fast-tracked without sufficient committee input. Rep. Clay Higgins, a Republican from Louisiana, objected to the name of the bill, the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act,” saying that it was “coopting” the Fourth of July. But he added that he supported it regardless.

Democrats, meanwhile, linked the creation of the holiday to fights for social justice.

“It’s also a recognition that we have so much work to do to rid this country of systemic racism, discrimination, and hate,” Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a Democrat from Detroit, said. “Juneteenth, what we are doing today, should empower us to fight even harder every single day for criminal-justice reform, for racial equality, and for economic empowerment of Black people in America.”

Juneteenth will become the US’s 11th federal holiday. The last one, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, was added to the calendar nearly 40 years ago. The legislation will give federal employees a day off, and private companies are expected to follow suit.

On the campaign trail last year, Biden publicly commemorated the holiday by tweeting: “#Juneteenth reminds us of how vulnerable our nation is to being poisoned by systems and acts of inhumanity-but it’s also a reminder of our ability to change.

“Together, we can lay the roots of real and lasting justice, and become the extraordinary nation that was promised to all.”

Juneteenth, which has been celebrated since the late 1800s, comemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, and announced that the region’s 250,0000 enslaved African Americans had been emancipated, thus ending slavery in the last Confederate territory.

The day came two years after President Abraham Lincoln read the Emancipation Proclamation and a few months after Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery and “involuntary servitude,” except as punishment for a crime.

“It’s long overdue to be recognized as a federal holiday,” Rep. Randy Weber, a Republican who represents Galveston, said Wednesday. “Juneteenth reminds us of the freedom so bravely defended by so many Americans,”

He added that it “reminds us we have a ways to go.”

Calls to make Juneteenth a national holiday, which has been in the works for years, gained momentum last year amid the nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by a white Minneapolis police officer.

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A Republican congressman refused to shake hands with a DC police officer beaten by Trump loyalists on Jan. 6, according to 2 House members

D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone, addresses the media after a meeting with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to urge Republican senators to support a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6th attack on the Capitol, on Thursday, May 27, 2021.
D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone, addresses the media after a meeting with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to urge Republican senators to support a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6th attack on the Capitol, on Thursday, May 27, 2021.

  • Rep. Andrew Clyde refused to shake hands with Michael Fanone, a DC police officer who was assaulted on Jan. 6.
  • Two members of Congress shared Fanone’s story on Tuesday via Twitter.
  • “Fanone introduced himself as ‘someone who fought to defend the Capitol’ and put out his hand,” Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted.
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Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican who has downplayed the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, refused to shake hands with Michael Fanone, a Washington, DC Metropolitan police officer who was assaulted by pro-Trump rioters while protecting the Capitol, two members of Congress announced on Wednesday.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, tweeted that Fanone approached Clyde at the Capitol and introduced himself as “someone who fought to defend the Capitol,” but Clyde refused to shake his outstretched hand. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, tweeted shortly after that he’d called Fanone and “confirmed” the story.

“Officer Fanone just ran into @Rep_Clyde at Capitol (he’s the “Jan 6 was a typical tour” guy). Fanone introduced himself as ‘someone who fought to defend the Capitol’ and put out his hand,” Swalwell tweeted. “Clyde refused to shake it. To honor Trump, @housegop will dishonor the police.”

Kinzinger added that the officer told him he also had a “disrespectful” interaction with a different lawmaker’s chief of staff.

“I just called Officer Fanone and confirmed this story. This is really incredible,” Kinzinger tweeted. “Also relayed an interaction he had with another members [sic] Chief of Staff that was really incredibly bad and disrespectful.”

Clyde has repeatedly downplayed the events of Jan. 6 and claimed during a hearing last month that many of the rioters behaved like they were on a “normal tourist visit.” The congressman also insisted there was “no insurrection,” and instead “an undisciplined mob” that included “some rioters” and some who committed vandalism. Clyde’s attempt to minimize the Capitol riot is particularly notable because he was photographed helping barricade the doors to the House floor from inside the chamber as pro-Trump rioters attempted to smash them down.

A spokesperson for Clyde didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Fanone also said that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to meet with him. Fanone, who suffered a heart attack after he was repeatedly stun gunned and beaten by rioters, advocated for the bipartisan commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6 before Republicans sunk the effort. The officer called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to block the commission “absolutely disgraceful.”

“I was absolutely sickened,” he told CNN after meeting with the mother of a Capitol police officer who died after the riot. “You know, here I am escorting the mother of a dead policeman, while she and myself advocate for the formation of a commission to investigate the circumstances which resulted in her son’s death.”

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Democrat Katie Porter accuses pharma CEO of inflating drug prices and ‘lying’ to patients and policymakers – all with the help of her whiteboard

Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) sits on the House Financial Services Committee.
Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) sits on the House Financial Services Committee.

  • Rep. Katie Porter grilled AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez over why the pharmaceutical giant’s drug prices have risen.
  • The California Democrat used a whiteboard and paper cut-outs to illustrate her argument.
  • Porter has become well-known for using her “whiteboard of justice” to grill CEOs.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Katie Porter, a California Democrat, accused AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez of lying to Americans and policymakers about why the pharmaceutical giant has dramatically increased the prices of some of its most popular drugs during a Tuesday House Oversight Committee hearing.

Using a whiteboard and paper cut-outs to illustrate her points, Porter argued that the pharma company falsely claimed that it raised the prices of its drugs in order to fund increased investments in research and development. She pointed out that the company spent just $2.45 billion on research and development between 2013 and 2018, while it spent $4.7 billion on marketing and advertising, and $50 billion on stock buybacks and dividends.

“So Mr. Gonzalez, you’re spending all this money to make sure you make money, rather than spending money to invest in, develop drugs and help patients with affordable, life-saving drugs,” she said. “You lie to patients when you charge them twice as much for an unimproved drug and then you lie to policymakers when you tell us that R&D justifies those price increases.”

She added, “The Big Pharma fairytale is one of groundbreaking R&D that justifies astronomical prices, but the pharma reality is that you spend most of your company’s money making money for yourself and your shareholders.”

The House Committee released a report on Tuesday finding that AbbVie raked in billions in revenue by raising the prices of two of its drugs – Humira and Imbruvica – in the US over the last 20 years. Since 2003, AbbVie has raised the price of Humira – which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and Chron’s, among other autoimmune and gastrointestinal illnesses – by over 470% with 27 individual price increases, according to the report. AbbVie has earned more than $20 billion in revenue annually for the last three years for Humira alone, making it the pharma industry’s best-selling drug.

A spokesman for AbbVie didn’t respond immediately to Insider’s request for comment.

Porter, who taught bankruptcy and commercial law at several law schools before running for office, has become well-known for using her “whiteboard of justice” to grill CEOs. A single mother, Porter says she also uses her whiteboard to keep her kids in line at the dinner table with a list of rules.

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Liz Cheney says the Capitol riot investigation ‘threatens’ GOP lawmakers because they ‘played a role they should not have been playing’

Rep. Liz Cheney speaks with NBC News after being voted out of leadership on Wednesday.
Rep. Liz Cheney speaks with NBC News after being voted out of leadership on Wednesday.

  • Liz Cheney said some of her GOP colleagues oppose an investigation into the Capitol riot because they played a role in it.
  • The commission “threatens people in my party who may have been playing a role they should not have been playing.”
  • She said accusations of violence associated with the Black Lives Matter protests should be investigated separately.
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Rep. Liz Cheney said that some of her Republican colleagues in Congress are opposed to a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot because they helped provoke the attack or are otherwise culpable.

Cheney, who was ousted from leadership by her own party on Wednesday, has repeatedly called for a bipartisan commission comprised of retired officials with subpoena power to investigate the attack on the Capitol. But GOP leadership and many other lawmakers are opposed to a commission solely focused on the deadly assault and instead want to expand it to include violence that resulted from Black Lives Matter protests last summer.

“There is real concern among a number of members of my own party about a January 6th commission,” Cheney said. “That kind of intense, narrow focus threatens people in my party who may have been playing a role they should not have been playing.”

She argued that there’s no legitimate reason for lawmakers to oppose the proposed commission and noted that Congress has created similar commissions to investigate other attacks, including 9/11, President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the Pearl Harbor bombing.

Cheney argued that violence associated with the Black Lives Matter protests should be investigated separately.

“We should not dilute the investigation we have to have into January 6,” she said.

A slew of Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and several House members, have been criticized for actively encouraging the pro-Trump loyalists who stormed the Capitol in the days leading up to Jan. 6 and even on the morning of the attack. 147 Republican lawmakers voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results after the riot.

Far-right activist Ali Alexander, who organized the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Capitol attack, says he planned the protest with help from GOP Rep. Paul Gosar and two other Republican members of Congress, Reps. Mo Brooks and Andy Biggs.

Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the riot, called rejecting the GOP’s lies about the election and seeking justice for the Capitol riot “the most important issue we are facing right now as a country.” She’s urging her party to reject Trump’s “cult of personality” and rebuild itself on conservative principles and policy. She added that Trump should “never again be anywhere close to the Oval Office.”

“We have to embrace the Constitution, we have to reject the lie, because we have to be a party of substance,” Cheney said. “We have to be able to say to those voters who left us, you should trust us.”

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Pelosi says Marjorie Taylor Greene targeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with ‘abuse’ and ‘verbal assault’ in the Capitol

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) arrives for an event on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021.

  • Nancy Pelosi suggested Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee for confronting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  • Pelosi described Greene yelling at Ocasio-Cortez and pursuing her down a hallway as “abuse” and “verbal assault.”
  • The Washington Post first reported on Greene’s behavior, which occurred as the two lawmakers exited the House chamber on Wednesday.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee for aggressively questioning and pursuing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Capitol on Wednesday.

Pelosi described Greene yelling at Ocasio-Cortez and following her down a hallway as “abuse” and “verbal assault,” and called the behavior “beyond the pale.”

“It probably is a matter for the Ethics Committee,” Pelosi told reporters, adding that it’s not her place to decide what that committee investigates. “This is beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States and is a cause for trauma and fear among members, especially on the heels of an insurrection in which the minority in the committee yesterday denied ever happened.”

On Wednesday, the far-right freshman lawmaker from Georgia chased Ocasio-Cortez down a hallway as the two left the House chamber, accusing her of supporting terrorists and “radical socialism,” The Washington Post reported Thursday. Greene called out “Hey Alexandria” twice as Ocasio-Cortez walked away, per The Post.

“You don’t care about the American people,” Greene yelled. “Why do you support terrorists and antifa?”

Ocasio-Cortez threw up her hands and said something to Greene that The Post’s reporters couldn’t hear. The Republican then turned to reporters and called Ocasio-Cortez a “chicken” and “pathetic.”

“She’s a chicken, she doesn’t want to debate the Green New Deal,” she said to a small group of reporters and onlookers near the entrance to the chamber. “These members are cowards. They need to defend their legislation to the people. That’s pathetic.”

In response to Wednesday’s incident, a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez urged congressional leaders and others in charge of enforcing rules at the Capitol to “take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place.”

“Representative Greene tried to begin an argument with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and when Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tried to walk away, Congresswoman Greene began screaming and called Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a terrorist sympathizer,” the spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, told The Post in a statement. “We hope leadership and the Sergeant at Arms will take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place for all Members and staff – especially as many offices are discussing reopening. One Member has already been forced to relocate her office due to Congresswoman Greene’s attacks.”

Greene has repeatedly singled out Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive members of Congress and, at one point, released a campaign ad featuring an image of herself holding an assault rifle next to pictures of Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats’ faces. Facebook took down that particular ad for violating its policy against “violence and incitement.”

Ocasio-Cortez has said that she and other Democratic lawmakers don’t feel safe around many Republican House members, particularly those who have minimized or lied about the events of January 6.

Another progressive lawmaker, freshman Rep. Cori Bush, moved offices to be farther away from Greene after she accused Greene of accosting her in a Capitol hallway. Greene denied the charge and called Bush a “terrorist” for helping lead Black Lives Matter protests.

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House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy backs ousting Liz Cheney from leadership over her criticism of Trump while claiming Republicans ’embrace free thought and debate’

kevin mccarthy liz cheney side by side
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, right, listens to Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming at a Republican press conference.

  • House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy announced that his caucus will vote on Wednesday on whether to recall Rep. Liz Cheney from leadership.
  • McCarthy argued that Cheney’s criticism of Trump and the GOP’s election lies had become a distraction.
  • He simultaneously argued that Republicans “embrace free thought and debate.”
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House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy announced in a Monday letter to his caucus that it will vote on Wednesday on whether to recall Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position amid widespread opposition to her within the party.

McCarthy suggested that Cheney’s criticism of the party’s election lies, which provoked the Capitol riot, had “distracted” her from the work of promoting the Republican agenda. He said that after hearing from “so many” of his members, it had become “clear that we need to make a change.”

“Each day spent relitigating the past is one day less we have to sieze the future,” McCarthy said. “If we are to succeed in stopping the radical Democrat agenda from destroying our country, these internal conflicts need to be resolved so as not to detract from the efforts of our collective team.”

Cheney, the House GOP conference chair and third-highest ranking member, has accused many of her fellow Republicans of lying about voter fraud and the election being “rigged” by Democrats. She’s argued that Trump and his allies are “poisoning our democratic system.”

McCarthy insisted that the Republican Party is a “big tent” and encourages internal debate, even as he argued that such a debate was detrimental to the party’s efforts to regain the House majority in 2022 and implement its agenda.

“Unlike the left, we embrace free thought and debate,” he said.

Many Republican lawmakers have turned on Cheney since she became one of just 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol attack. Cheney has since urged her party to support a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot — something McCarthy and many others oppose.

McCarthy on Sunday publicly endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik to replace Cheney in leadership after telling Fox hosts in a leaked conversation that he had “lost confidence” in Cheney and “had it with her.” Cheney condemned the “dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality” in an op-ed published in The Washington Post last Wednesday.

A handful of Republicans have spoken up in Cheney’s defense. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah tweeted on Monday that ousting Cheney would be politically unwise for the party.

“Expelling Liz Cheney from leadership won’t gain the GOP one additional voter, but it will cost us quite a few,” he said.

McCarthy has changed his tune on the president’s complicity in the Capitol attack since January. On Jan. 7, McCarthy said Trump “bears responsibility” for the riot and argued “he should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.” McCarthy also rejected the false claim, made by Trump and others on the right, that the Capitol rioters included Black Lives Matter protesters and members of antifa.

But last month, after it had become clear that Trump remained a powerful force in the GOP and popular with the party’s base, McCarthy defended Trump’s response to the riot.

“What I talked to President Trump about, I was the first person to contact him when the riots was going on. He didn’t see it,” McCarthy told Fox News. “What he ended the call was saying — telling me, he’ll put something out to make sure to stop this. And that’s what he did, he put a video out later.”

Hours after the attack began, Trump released a video expressing sympathy for the “very special” rioters and gently urged them to “go home.”

“I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now,” Trump said. “We love you. You’re very special.”

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Democratic congressman tells Marjorie Taylor Greene to ‘shut your seditious, QAnon-loving mouth’ after she calls his party ‘the enemy within’

marjorie taylor greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is seen with her face mask pulled down as she speaks with a colleague on the floor of the House on January 3, 2021 for the swearing in of the new Congress.

  • Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego and GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene got into a heated Twitter exchange on Tuesday.
  • Gallego argued that Greene is an “insurrectionist” attempting to destroy US democracy after she called Democrats “the enemy within.”
  • In response, Greene called Gallego a “coward” and questioned his masculinity.
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Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene got into a heated Twitter exchange on Tuesday, exposing the deep anger still roiling the ranks of Congress since the January 6 Capitol riot.

Gallego said the freshman Georgia Republican, who’s embraced a host of far-right conspiracy theories, was aligned with the Capitol rioters after she called her Democratic colleagues “the enemy within” in a tweet.

“I was trying to figure what type of pen to stab your friends with if they overran us on the floor of the House of Representatives while trying to conduct a democratic transition of power,” Gallego said. “So please shut your seditious, Qanon loving mouth when it comes to who loves America.”

Gallego, a Marine combat veteran from Arizona, helped his colleagues with their gas masks as pro-Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol in January. He also provided shelter in his office to several journalists after they were denied entry into a safe room.

In response, Greene accused Gallego of seeking attention, called him a “coward,” and questioned his masculinity.

“While you were hiding with your little pen, brave Republican MEN were helping police hold the door, so that ALL of us could get out safely. Coward,” she wrote.

Gallego then argued there were “many heroes” in the Capitol on January 6, but accused Greene of being one of the “many insurrectionist trying to destroy Democracy [sic].”

The Democrat ended the exchange by saying he didn’t have time for a Twitter feud because he was too busy with legislative work, which he added Greene “wouldn’t know about” because she was stripped of her committee assignments just a month after being sworn in to office.

“I would tweet back and forth with you but I have 2 committee assignments and a bill of mine is being marked,” he tweeted. “That we means it’s passing out of committee. (But you wouldn’t know about that).”

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Pelosi mocked Ocasio-Cortez and the Squad by talking like a baby: ‘See how perfect I am and how pure?’

pelosi aoc
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi/Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

  • Nancy Pelosi criticized Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the left wing “Squad” for posing as “perfect” and “pure” progressives.
  • USA Today’s Susan Page writes in her forthcoming book that the House Speaker told her some members “pose for holy pictures” while others legislate.
  • Pelosi said she values “operational” Democrats over activist members who stir up trouble in their own party.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the left wing “Squad” for posing as “perfect” and “pure” progressives and rejecting compromise necessary to achieve legislative results.

USA Today’s Susan Page writes in her forthcoming book, “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” an excerpt of which was published in Politico, that Pelosi “adopted a child-like voice when discussing” Ocasio-Cortez.

“Some people come here, as [former Rep.] Dave Obey would have said, to pose for holy pictures,” Pelosi told Page during a July 2019 interview.

Page writes, “[Pelosi] changed her voice and mimicked a child trying to make a solemn show of piety. ‘See how perfect I am and how pure?'”

The Speaker insisted that Democratic lawmakers who are “operational” and willing to put their heads down and compromise on legislation are more effective than activist members.

“When you come in, cross that door, take that oath, you have to be oriented toward results,” Pelosi told Page. “Have confidence in what you believe in, have humility to listen to somebody else, because you’re not a one-person show. This is the Congress of the United States.”

Ocasio-Cortez has been openly critical of Pelosi and other Democratic leaders during her first few years in Congress. Last year, she said that the party needed “new leadership,” but conceded that progressives hadn’t prepared a new leader to take over.

“The internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there is very little option for succession,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept in December. “The Speaker has indicated that she may be looking at transitioning and leaving at some point, and the left isn’t really making a plan for that either. It’s something that we need to think about.”

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John Boehner said he skewered Ted Cruz in his book because Cruz was ‘stirring up some of the crazies in my own caucus’

Boehner
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration in 2017.

  • Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner doubled down on his criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday.
  • Boehner said he “zeroed in” on Cruz because the senator was “stirring up some of the crazies in my own caucus.”
  • The former speaker even added in the audiobook of his memoir: “PS, Ted Cruz, go f— yourself.”
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Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner doubled down on his criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, on Monday.

Boehner told CBS News that he singled Cruz out, calling him “dangerous” and a “reckless a–hole,” in his forthcoming book, “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” because Cruz had amplified divisions within the GOP House caucus.

“This guy wasn’t even a member of the United States House of Representatives, he was a member of the Senate, stirring up some of the crazies in my own caucus to cause all kinds of problems,” Boehner said of Cruz during a Monday morning interview. “And that’s probably why I zeroed in on him – probably the only person in this book – in the way that I did.”

He added, “As I say in the book, there’s nothing worse than a reckless jackass who thinks he’s smarter than everybody else.”

Boehner writes that Cruz was the “head lunatic” leading “the chaos caucus in the House” of Tea Party members and right-wingers more focused on appearing on right-wing media and escalating “outrage” news cycles to drive campaign donations than passing legislation in Washington. In the audiobook of his memoir, Boehner added an unscripted, “PS, Ted Cruz, go f— yourself.”

In a tweet responding to Boehner’s criticism last week, Cruz called the former Speaker “the Swamp” and said he’s proud to receive his “drunken, bloviated scorn.”

The Ohio Republican, who’s also a sharp critic of former President Donald Trump, paints himself as an establishment Republican looking to find common ground with Democrats and get things done on policy. He criticizes multiple high-profile right-wing lawmakers, calling Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio a “political terrorist” and former Rep. Michele Bachmann a “lunatic.”

But Boehner, who served as speaker from 2011-2015, was overpowered by more right-wing forces in his party and is now out of step with a voter base that remains deeply loyal to Trump and more focused on culture wars than policy change.

Boehner has repeatedly taken aim at Cruz since leaving office. In 2016, he called the senator “Lucifer in the flesh” and told an audience that he’d “never worked with a more miserable son of a b—- in my life.”

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