House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R‑Calif.) suggested that socialists have expanded their power bloc in the Democratic Party, while asserting that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D‑N.Y.) has broader say on what legislation gets proposed.
“She runs the floor,” McCarthy told Axios on HBO, referring to the freshman congresswoman who recently won her reelection bid. “That wing of the party, the socialist wing of the party, they are the new power of the Democratic Party.”
McCarthy then said that socialists and progressives wield some power over Democratic leaders in the House, asserting that legislation cannot be passed unless Ocasio-Cortez agrees to it first.
In the past election, Republicans were able to take several more seats, giving Democrats a narrow majority in the House.
However, some high-ranking Democrats in the House and Senate have pushed back against the socialist labels, slogans, and progressive legislation.
“Stop sloganeering. Sloganeering kills people. Sloganeering destroys movements,” Rep. Jim Clyburn (D‑S.C.), the No. 3 Democrat in the House, told Axios. “This foolishness about you got to be this progressive or that progressive. That phrase ‘defund the police’ cost Jaime Harrison tremendously. I’m not saying it was the only problem,” Clyburn added, saying that he was angry.