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Race becomes a new flashpoint with Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez




© Provided by The Associated Press Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listens as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)



The debate between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other House Democrats over migrant children in detention at the border was wrenching enough. Then it became about race.


First, the freshman's chief of staff compared more centrist Democrats to 1940s segregationists. Then Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of "singling out" her and fellow newcomers, all women of color.


By Thursday, the rhetoric escalated, overshadowing the agenda and pushing House Democrats way off message with the most divisive upheaval since they took control of the chamber this year. Longtime lawmakers were stunned.


"How dare they try to play the race card at this point," said Rep. William Lacy Clay, an African-American Democrat from Missouri who faces a primary challenge backed by allies of Ocasio-Cortez. He called those making the claims "ignorant" of racial history. "It shows the weakness of their argument. It's damaging to this party and the internal workings of the Democratic party."



AP News

12th July 2019

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