Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s dismissive, racially charged comment about the group of five bipartisan lawmakers tasked with working on an immigration bill was met with a strong rebuke from a member of her own party.
“The five white guys I call them, you know,” Pelosi said in reference to the immigration team at her weekly press conference Thursday. “Are they going to open a hamburger stand next or what?” she quipped.
“The very idea that this week they’re saying, ‘Oh why don’t we get four white guys and General Kelly to come and do this,'” she continued, arguing that the lack of Hispanic members would only delay the process.
Pelosi’s comments about the immigration team, which is in part trying to enshrine elements of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, earned the ire of her fellow Democrat, House Whip Steny Hoyer — one of those “five white guys” she disparaged.
“That comment is offensive,” Hoyer told Politico. “I am committed to ensuring DREAMers are protected and I will welcome everyone to the table who wants to get this done.”
In response, Pelosi’s spokesman said she wasn’t criticizing who was there, but pointing out “who’s not there.”
“Leader Pelosi has every confidence in the leadership of Whip Hoyer and Senator Durbin, which they have demonstrated on this topic for years,” said the congresswoman’s spokesman. “It’s not a question of who’s there but who’s not there.”
This week, over 20 lawmakers from both houses met with President Trump to try to hammer out an immigration agreement. Trump was widely praised by the media, at least initially, for the effort. The group of five has been tasked with working through the details, and a preliminary deal has reportedly been reached.
The rest of the “five white guys” team includes Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
H/T The Hill