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Pelosi Scolds Progressive Democrats for Public Attacks, Urges Party Unity

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 27, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

House speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly rebuked some high-profile progressive members of her caucus in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, urging them to raise complaints about other Democrats privately rather than publicly.

“So, again, you got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it,” Pelosi told Democratic lawmakers according to Politico. “But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just ok.”

The warning comes after two recent intraparty spats between progressive members on one hand and Pelosi and more moderate Democrats on the other spilled out into the public square.

Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, who is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, took a shot at the moderate Problem Solvers Caucus in a tweet last month, calling them the “Child Abuse Caucus” for backing an emergency border-aid bill that passed with bipartisan support in the Senate.

More recently, Pelosi clashed over the weekend with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after making dismissive remarks about the influence of the New York progressive and other young firebrands in the caucus.

Ocasio-Cortez as well as Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan complained about Pelosi on their Twitter accounts and in television interviews, with Omar calling Pelosi “salty” and adding, “sorry not sorry.”

“I’m here to help the children when it’s easy and when it’s hard. Some of you are here to make a beautiful pâté but we’re making sausage most of the time,” Pelosi reportedly told Democrats in the meeting. “We are a family, and every family has its moments.”

The veteran California congresswoman was also said to have urged the caucus to remain unified in the face of Republican opposition.

“Without that unity, we are playing completely into the hands of the other people,” she said. “I hope there will be some level of respect and sensitivity for our – each individual experience that we bring to this caucus. You make me the target, but don’t make our Blue Dogs and our New Dems the target in all of this because we have important fish to fry.”

House majority leader Steny Hoyer also reportedly gave a speech echoing Pelosi’s message during the meeting, urging lawmakers to come criticize him in person rather than attacking colleagues in the party publicly.

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