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Democratic lawmaker unloads on Ocasio-Cortez, chief of staff for 'using the race card'

Rep. Wm. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayLiberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Progressives target Manchin, Sinema with new PAC MORE (D-Mo.) unloaded on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezEvery day should be Earth Day Liberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges Progressives divided over efforts to repeal SALT cap MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday for "using the race card” after Ocasio-Cortez accused Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Pelosi pushes for drug pricing measure | South Africa to resume administering Johnson & Johnson vaccine | Early data indicate Pfizer, Moderna vaccines safe for pregnant women Allow a vote on the 'Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act' Female Republicans 'horrified' by male GOP lawmaker's description of Cheney: report MORE (D-Calif.) of being racially insensitive.

Clay, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, fumed at Ocasio-Cortez and the group of progressive lawmakers that includes Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHouse rejects GOP resolution to censure Waters Can policing be reformed? GOP believes Democrats handing them winning 2022 campaign MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSharpton eulogizes Daunte Wright: 'Tags of racism' have expired Left feels empowered after Biden backtracks on refugees Lawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPressley: Black men 'deserve to grow old' Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' FDA ends restrictions on mailing abortion pills during pandemic MORE (Mass.).

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“What a weak argument, because you can’t get your way and because you’re getting pushback you resort to using the race card? Unbelievable. That’s unbelievable to me,” Clay said. “I could care less. I could really care less. I agree with the Speaker. Four people, four votes out of 240 people, who cares.”

In an interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez accused Pelosi of singling out newly elected women of color.

Pelosi had previously been dismissive of the four freshman female lawmakers, saying that despite their large presence on social media, they only account for four votes in the Democratic caucus.

“It shows you how weak their argument is when they have to resort and direct racist accusations toward Speaker Pelosi … it’s very disappointing to me,” Clay said.

The Missouri Democrat also described Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti and the progressive group Justice Democrats as “juvenile” and “ignorant.”

The Justice Democrats have endorsed a progressive primary challenger against Clay and other centrist Democrats. Chakrabarti last week sent out a tweet comparing centrist Democrats to "new Southern Democrats" that "certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s."

“It shows you how ignorant and little history [Chakrabarti] knows, how ignorant he is to American history. How dare he,” Clay said.

“They’re missing the fact that we have a very thin margin of a majority that we’re operating under and apparently it doesn’t matter to Justice Democrats, they just want to get skins. They want to score points for whatever reason. But I find it juvenile, their tactics, I find their ignorance to be beyond belief about American history and about who are really segregationists. And so how dare they try to play the race card at this point, it shows you the weakness of their arguments.”