House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., took a shot at immigration negotiations involving her top deputy, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, slamming them as “the five white guys” -- and drawing a rebuke from Hoyer himself.
Speaking at her weekly press conference, Pelosi complained that the immigration talks did not include any minority members of Congress which she said was done intentionally to delay any agreement “since it would need sign-off from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and others.”
The California Democrat compared the group of men, including Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, to the popular hamburger and fry chain Five Guys.
“The five white guys I call them, you know,” Pelosi said. “Are they going to open a hamburger stand next or what?”
In a statement made to Politico, Hoyer slammed Pelosi’s remarks.
“That comment is offensive. I am committed to ensuring DREAMers are protected and I will welcome everyone to the table who wants to get this done,” his statement read.
Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, tried to show a more united front by saying that Pelosi was not criticizing members of her party involved with the immigration talks, Politico reported.
“Leader Pelosi has every confidence in the leadership of Whip Hoyer and Senator Durbin, which they have demonstrated on this topic for years," Hammill said. “It’s not a question of who’s there but who’s not there.”
Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Durbin told reporters on Thursday that a bipartisan group of six senators reached a preliminary agreement on the DACA program that included a border security package -- but hinted that the White House wasn’t ready to sign anything yet.
“We were hoping for that, but the president is not prepared to do that at this moment,” Durbin said.