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It looks like Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) is now part of the so-called “squad” of progressive House Democrats, after he asked for an invitation because an article in the Onion poked fun at him.
Pascrell, 82, was accepted into the group by two lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon after he tweeted a link to an Onion article at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
The satirical article, titled “82-Year-Old New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell Quietly Asks Ilhan Omar If He Can Be Part Of The Squad,” jokingly says that Pascrell “sheepishly” approached Omar if he was “squad material.”
“Well. How bout it @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN?” the New Jersey congressman tweeted on Tuesday.
Pascrell has defended the group amid attacks from President Donald Trump.
According to Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) echoed Pacsrell’s comments that the four congresswomen were their “sisters” during a caucus meeting on Tuesday ahead of the House’s vote on a resolution to condemn the president’s racist tweets that are presumably aimed at them.
Pelosi had previously spent the previous week belittling the four Democrats for being too far left and not having any power beyond their Twitter accounts.
The New Jersey lawmaker seemed to enjoy his new place within the House Democrats “squad.”
The Onion article also pokes fun at Pascrell for his tweeting, but as of Tuesday evening his tweet at Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, and Tlaib had more than 27,000 likes.
Update 2:21pm CT, July 17: In a statement to the Daily Dot, Pascrell reiterated his support of the Squad.
“Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Pressley, and Omar, are dynamic young members who bring incredible energy and critical perspectives to our caucus. I’m honored by any association with them—Onion satire or not! In seriousness, these brilliant women were slimed with racism by the man who occupies the White House. His comments are racist. My colleagues are Americans—and no American deserves to be treated like that by anybody, let alone the President! So I stand beside The Squad or anyone else against racism. They are my sisters.”
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).