House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi drew a quick rebuke on Thursday from her No. 2 for pejoratively referring to “five white guys” negotiating an immigration policy overhaul.
Internecine rhetorical warfare between Mrs. Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer was the order of the day as the California Democrat conducted her weekly press briefing. Mrs. Pelosi suggested that lawmakers — including Mr. Hoyer, a 19-term Maryland Democrat — were incapable of crafting sound immigration policy because of the color of their skin.
“The five white guys I call them, you know,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “Are they going to open a hamburger stand next or what?”
Mr. Hoyer did not appreciate the “Five Guys” hamburger chain joke, which referenced fellow negotiators Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
“That comment is offensive,” Mr. 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.”
Mrs. Pelosi argued that a dearth of minority negotiators would delay an immigration deal since “it would need sign-off from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and others.”
“There has not been a deal reached yet, however we still think we can get there,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Thursday.