Nancy Pelosi Dismisses Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, Pressley As Just 'Four People' After Democrats Split on Border Bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi dismissed progressive congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) as just "four people" this week after the Democratic party split over a $4.6 billion border bill passed by the Republican-led Congress.

Pelosi told the New York Times, in an interview published Saturday, that despite their large amount of social media fans, the four freshman lawmakers still only get one vote each.

"All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world," Pelosi said, referring to the four freshman lawmakers. "But they didn't have any following. They're four people and that's how many votes they got."

Pelosi's comments come after the four, collectively referred by some as "the squad," voted against the House's version of the spending package, which passed on a 230-195 vote, to tackle issues at the southern U.S.-Mexico border. Later, the House moved to approved a Senate-passed border funding bill.

Ocasio-Cortez spoke out against Pelosi last week for deciding that the House should approve the legislation without first trying to make changes.

"Under no circumstances should the House vote for a McConnell-only bill w/ no negotiation with Democrats. Hell no," the 29-year-old congresswoman tweeted about the Senate version of the bill, which will provide $4.6 billion in funding for operations at the southern border, but without aspects many House Democrats had hoped to include. "That's an abdication of power we should refuse to accept. They will keep hurting kids if we do."

In an earlier tweet, the self-described Democratic socialist pointed out that despite some Democrats offering "crucial amendments to protect children and families," the bill failed to be negotiated with them. "None are even being considered," she added.

Despite the progressive Democrats' efforts, the House adopted the Senate version of the bill on a 305-102 vote, with 92 Democrats voting against it.

Ocasio-Cortez appeared on CNN shortly before the House vote to explain why she opposes the bill. "We passed a House version of this bill which had far more humanitarian aid provisions and accountability for the facilities that are abusing kids at our border," the congresswoman told CNN host Jake Tapper. "Mitch McConnell immediately smacked it down to pass and ram through a Senate bill that has an enormous amount of funding for military as well as no guardrails and no accountability for facilities that are abusing our kids."

The 38-member Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who were also among the Democratic opponents of the bill, called for a "No" vote on the legislation prior to voting. "The Republicans cannot force us to accept this bill, which does not provide necessary guardrails and allows the Trump Admin to continue denying kids basic, humane care and endangering their lives," the caucus tweeted.

In a letter to her fellow Democrats last Thursday, Pelosi explained her decision to "reluctantly" back the bill, despite vowing she wouldn't just one day earlier.

"The children come first. At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the resources needed to protect the children are available," Pelosi wrote. "Therefore, we will not engage in the same disrespectful behavior that the Senate did in ignoring our priorities. In order to get resources to the children fastest, we will reluctantly pass the Senate bill."

This story has been updated to include voting details of the House version of the spending package.

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) departs following her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol on June 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty