Pelosi defends Democratic divisions, says party is ‘not a lockstep rubber stamp’

Pelosi defends Democratic divisions, says party is ‘not a lockstep rubber stamp’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday defended the Democratic divisions in her caucus that have been on display in recent weeks, saying she’d rather belong to a party that’s dynamic than to the GOP.

“We’re a democratic party. We’re not a lockstep, rubber stamp,” Pelosi said of her Democratic caucus. “Who would want to [belong] to a party like that? You could cross the aisle and do that.?

“But we are a party of ideas and dynamism,” Pelosi continued. “And we respect differences of opinion, but at the end of the day we know we will have unity to promote the well-being of America’s working families.”

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Pelosi was responding to a question Thursday from Fox News’ David Spunt on the party infighting during her weekly Capitol news conference. 

With razor-thin majorities in the House and Senate, divisions among the party have been aired out between the progressive and more moderate wings of the party on issues such as voting rights and infrastructure. Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat in the Senate, has been the target of liberal rage since he won’t go along with eliminating the filibuster to pass some of the sweeping reforms that progressives want. 

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., had addressed the volatile caucus situation by saying any one member is in a position to “sabotage” a bill.

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“I think our caucus understands that essentially we’re all Joe Manchin,” Yarmuth said Tuesday. “And with the margins we have, everybody has the ability to tank whatever we’re trying to do. I mean, here we’ve got four votes, there, we have zero margin, so essentially everybody’s in a position to sabotage, whatever we’re doing.”

When asked about Yarmuth’s comments, Pelosi said Thursday that her caucus is still building consensus in a “very positive” and “respectful” way because they are united around a “common core” set of values.

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“We are here for America’s working families, and I have no doubt that we will have legislation to help America’s working families,” Pelosi said. 

Fox News’ David Spunt and Caroline McKee contributed to this report.