Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi planning to meet one-on-one

Rebecca Morin
Earlier this month, Nancy Pelosi downplayed four votes from a group of progressive Democrats against a border funding bill.

WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are in talks to set up a face-to-face meeting with each other, amid intra-party tension between the two Democratic lawmakers.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hamill said Ocasio-Cortez's office reached out Tuesday afternoon for a one-on-one meeting. 

During an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd earlier this month, Pelosi downplayed four votes from a group of progressive Democrats against a border funding bill.

Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., all voted against the bill. The four congresswomen of color are colloquially known as "The Squad."

"We are working to schedule this meeting," Hamill said of Pelosi meeting with Ocasio-Cortez, adding that the speaker's chief of staff has already met with the four chiefs of these offices.

In an interview with CBS News broadcast Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez said she "absolutely" wants to meet with Pelosi.

More: New York businesswoman and Jamaican immigrant Scherie Murray launches campaign to unseat Ocasio-Cortez

More: House votes to condemn Trump's racist tweets with support from only 4 Republicans

Pelosi in the New York Times said of The Squad: “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

Since then, some members of "The Squad" have individually responded to the speaker's remarks on Twitter. 

That prompted Pelosi in a closed-door meeting to warn Democratic lawmakers that if any lawmaker had an issue within the party, they should come directly to her and not tweet about it.

During an interview with the Washington Post last week, Ocasio-Cortez accused Pelosi of "singling out of newly elected women of color." The next day, she told CNN that she "absolutely" did not believe Pelosi was racist.

Since then, however, the tension between Pelosi and the Squad has been drowned out by days of tweets and attacks on the four progressive lawmakers by President Donald Trump.

Trump on Sunday tweeted that the four lawmakers should "go back" to their countries, and has since doubled down several times on his attacks and criticisms of the Democrats. Three of the congresswomen were born in the United States. Omar immigrated to the U.S. over 20 years ago from Somalia and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The House voted Tuesday to condemn Trump's comments as racist, by a 240-187 vote.

During the CBS interview, Ocasio-Cortez said she did not believe there is a fracture in the Democratic Party.

"I think that just as there were members of Congress that did not vote for the speaker on the House Floor the day of our swearing-in, just as there are members who challenge her conclusions, who disagree with her, so do we from time-to-time," she said. "But that does not mean that there is a fundamental fracture or a dehumanizing going on within our caucus."

Contributing: Christal Hayes

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi planning one-on-one meeting