House Democrats held an emotional debate behind closed doors Thursday over how to stop losing embarrassing procedural battles with Republicans — a clash that exposed the divide between moderates and progressives.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took a hard line at the caucus meeting, saying that being a member of Congress sometimes requires taking tough votes.
“This is not a day at the beach. This is the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi said, according to two sources.
Pelosi also said vulnerable Democrats who had the “courage” to vote against the Republican motions to recommit would become a higher priority for the party leadership and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the superstar New York freshman lawmaker, suggested she would alert progressive activists when Democrats are voting with the GOP on these motions, said the sources.
In the end, Pelosi and other top Democrats didn’t agree to any rules change and will continue to study the issue. The motion to recommit offers the House minority one last shot at changing legislation before it receives a final floor vote. Typically, the motion is used to try to squeeze the majority party, but it rarely succeeds.