AP NEWS

Pelosi calls for Dems to rally under ‘boldest common denominator’: Report

April 8, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her fellow Democratic lawmakers should stay focused on a “boldest common denominator” approach to legislating.

Mrs. Pelosi finds herself dealing with a powerful liberal wing of her party, even as her new majority was built on the backs of lawmakers who won districts in Trump country.

In an interview with USA Today, she said the focus should be on what they can actually pass.

“While there are people who have a large number of Twitter followers, what’s important is that we have large numbers of votes on the floor of the House,” Mrs. Pelosi said in an interview with USA Today.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has garnered a massive amount national attention on social media, has nearly four million Twitter followers. Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib, her fellow firebrand progressives, have hundreds of thousands of followers.

Ms. Pelosi’s challenge is similar to that faced by John A. Boehner in 2011, when the GOP took control amid the tea party surge then struggled to find unanimity between that activist right wing and the party’s more moderate members from swing districts.

Mrs. Pelosi told USA Today she has credibility with her left wing, which allows her to make a pitch to them that she’s on their side even if she can’t pursue the full agenda they want to see.

“I’m a progressive from San Francisco,” Pelosi said in Ferguson, Missouri, last month. “I think I can have some credentials on the left, as a person who has represented a very liberal city. But you have to govern mainstream.”

Over the first three months of her tenure her second as speaker she’s been successful in keeping her troops together on most votes, passing new gun controls, workforce pay legislation and a 2019 spending bill.

Republicans did manage to attach an amendment to one of the gun control bills that would require immigration officials to be notified when an illegal immigrant tried to purchase a firearm. Illegal immigrants are on the banned-buyer list.

Mrs. Pelosi dismissed the incident when asked by USA Today, saying the measures were procedural efforts designed to embarrass the majority and “not anything that is worthy of our conversation.”