"It is like high school": Meet the House’s freshman cliques

“It is like high school — I just hope I’m better at it,” quipped Rep. Max Rose, a 32-year-old New Yorker, who was awarded a Purple Heart while serving in Afghanistan and hopes that his gang of military moderates can duplicate the success of the new stars on the left.

Indeed, the most well known group, by far, is the “squad” of progressive women of color: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D- Mass.).

They regularly pose for selfies together on their prolific Instagram pages, with captions like “sister love” and “album dropping.” They rush to each other’s defense when one is attacked by the right. And their joint policy statements snag more news coverage than those of some committee chairmen.

“It was literally a joke from that Instagram post. I just wrote ‘squad’ and it stuck,” said the 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez, who has over 3 million Twitter followers. Before they knew it, the squad had become synonymous with the rising progressive forces looking to remake the Democratic Party.