Posts tagged with "House Democrats"

Pelosi literally rips into Trump’s SOTU address

February 6, 2020

For 80 minutes on February 4, President Donald Trump delivered a State of the Union address that featured a “highlight reel of his presidency,” with a few reality show twists thrown in—including awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh; and introducing a Kansas-born toddler and her mother as the faces of his anti-abortion campaign.

The pageantry enthralled Republicans, who lavished Trump with praise; and disgusted most Democrats, who hissed and booed, later calling Trump’s speech a disgrace, according to a report by Politico.

Indeed, the political news outlet revealed, Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped into President Donald Trump in a private meeting with Democrats the next day.

Addressing her caucus Wednesday morning, said she felt “liberated” after defiantly ripping up Trump’s speech for the world to see, tearing up each page as she stood behind the president after he concluded his annual address.

 “He shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech,” Pelosi told House Democrats, according to multiple sources in the room. “What we heard last night was a disgrace.”

Democrats gave Pelosi a standing ovation after she concluded her remarks, coming just hours before the Senate will vote to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial. The California Democrat then went on to salute all seven House impeachment managers by name, according to attendees.

“She said that he disgraced the House of Representatives by using it as a backdrop for a reality show,” Representative John Yarmuth (D-Kentucky) told the press when he left the meeting.

Pelosi’s remarks follow the latest turn in the long-running feud between the two party leaders, which played out during Trump’s annual address in front of the Congress and millions of viewers.

Speaking to the caucus, some Democrats said Pelosi appeared distraught and frustrated by Trump’s speech. Pelosi specifically called out Trump’s decision to award the divisive conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the middle of the speech.

“He dishonored the State of the Union as an institutional practice,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia). “It was kind of outright pandering to his base. It was just a disgraceful display.”

House Republican leaders were quick to condemn Pelosi —calling her late-night response a petty tantrum. Trump himself weighed in in his own way, rapidly re-tweeting more than a dozen people criticizing Pelosi’s actions, many with the hashtag “#PelosiTantrum” on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, the speaker’s top lieutenants were quick to come to her defense.

“As far as I’m concerned, a shredder wasn’t available, so she did what she needed to do,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York.) told reporters after the caucus meeting.

Research contact: @politico

Murkowski ‘disturbed’ by McConnell’s plan for ‘total coordination’ with White House on impeachment

December 26, 2019

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is no pushover when it comes to Republican politics. This week, she went on the record saying that she does not agree with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Kentucky) stated position that he will work in “total coordination” with the White House during the looming impeachment trial.

“When I heard that I was disturbed,” Murkowski told KTUU, an NBC affiliate in her home state, in an interview that aired December 24.

McConnell already has been harshly criticized for his comments by Democrats—given that senators take an oath to be impartial jurors during the trial, The Hill reported.

“To me,” Murkowski continued, speaking of the Senate’s constitutional responsibility in the process, “it means we have to take that step back from being hand-in-glove with the defense. And so I heard what Leader McConnell had said, I happen to think that that has further confused the process.”

Murkowski, a moderate Republican, is seen as one of a few GOP senators who could break from the party on a vote to remove Trump from office; although the president is anticipated to be acquitted given the Republican control of the chamber.

Unlike some of her colleagues, such as Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)—a Trump crony who repeatedly has said that he is ready to vote and doesn’t need to hear any witnesses—Murkowski said she won’t “prejudge” the situation before the process continues.

“For me to prejudge and say there’s nothing there, or on the other hand, ‘he should be impeached yesterday,’ that’s wrong. In my view, that’s wrong,” she said. 

“If it means that I am viewed as one who looks openly and critically at every issue in front of me rather than acting as a rubber stamp for my party or my president, I am totally good with that,” Murkowski added. “I am totally, totally good with that.”

McConnell signaled on Monday the talks about a trial are in limbo until senators return to Washington in a couple of weeks,, The Hill reported.

Research contact: @thehill

Pelosi puts impeachment trial on hold until McConnell reveals his plans

December 23, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken steps to prevent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from riding roughshod over the Democrats’ requests for a fair impeachment trial—complete with witnesses close to the president, Politico reports.

She refused to commit last Wednesday—the day on which impeachment passed the House—to deliver the two articles of impeachment to the Senate, citing concerns about an rigged, partisan process that would protect President Donald Trump from being embarrassed; let alone, ousted from office.

Indeed, according to Politico, senior Democratic aides said the House was “very unlikely” to take the steps necessary to send the articles to the Senate until at least early January, a delay of at least two weeks and perhaps longer.

Pelosi told reporters at a news conference that, until she was informed by McConnell of the plans for the trial, the House would not name impeachment managers and the articles would not be handed over.  “That would’ve been our intention, but we’ll see what happens over there.”

Although the House adopted two articles of impeachment– charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of congressional investigations— it must pass a second resolution formally naming impeachment managers to present the case in the Senate. That second vehicle triggers the official transmission of articles to the Senate.

By delaying passage of that resolution, Pelosi and top Democrats retain control of the articles and hope to put pressure on McConnell to adopt trial procedures they consider to be bipartisan, Politico said.

McConnell has boasted that he has closely coordinated the planning of the trial with the White House and has repeatedly predicted Trump would be acquitted. He’s also suggested Democrats shouldn’t be allowed to call new witnesses as they attempt to present their case.

“I’m not an impartial juror,” he said flatly. “This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision.”

In response to those words, several members of Congress have said that McConnell should recuse himself from the impeachment process–advice he is unlikely to follow.

The White House lashed out at the move. “House Democrats have run a fatally flawed process with fake facts, and now they want to deny the President his day in court with another procedural maneuver that proves anew they have no case,” said Eric Ueland, Trump’s top congressional liaison to Congress.

Research contact: @politico

Nadler will sue to enforce McGahn subpoena

July 26, 2019

While former Special Counsel Robert Mueller was unable to provide a vivid or sensational account of his team’s investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and presidential wrongdoing, House Democrats still have another witness who may deliver the goods.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-New York) signaled late Thursday that he had delayed filing a lawsuit seeking to force former White House Counsel Don McGahn to comply with a Congressional subpoena until next week, according to a report by Talking Points Memo.

Calling McGahn “the main fact witness” of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Nadler told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that a lawsuit to enforce a subpoena for McGahn’s testimony would be filed early this coming week.

“You have to lay out the facts to the American people and it is very frustrating that the administration has systematically attacked the right of Congress to hold any administration accountable—opposed all our subpoenas and we have to break that log-jam in order to lay out the facts before the American people,” he said.

Nadler had said on July 24, in a press conference following the Mueller hearings, that the McGahn lawsuit would be filed by the end of this week.

The Judiciary Committee chair said on his Thursday CNN appearance that the House would likely file a separate lawsuit on Friday, July 26, seeking to compel the release of sealed grand jury materials from the Mueller investigation.

According to the Talking Points Memo, Nadler framed the lawsuits as the start of a volley of attempts to conduct proactive and vigorous oversight of the Trump administration, after mounting criticism and angst that the Democrats have moved too slowly on investigating the Executive Branch.

Nadler subpoenaed McGahn in April, seeking reams of documents from the former White House counsel as well as his testimony.

McGahn played a leading role in the obstruction volume of the Mueller report, threatening to resign rather than order Mueller’s firing and later refusing to deny news reports about Trump’s demand to do so.

Since Nadler issued the subpoena, the White House has maneuvered to keep McGahn out of Congress’s hands. Indeed, the White House directly ordered McGahn not to comply with the documentary subpoena.

Research contact: @TPM

Speaker Pelosi tells ‘The Squad’ not to knock heads with more moderate House Democrats

July 12, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) laid down the law to House Democrats on July 10. The elder statesperson and party leader said that in-fighting among caucus members could not be countenanced—either on Twitter or in media interviews—because it would jeopardize their majority vote.

Without naming names, her target was clear: the four liberal freshmen known as “The Squad,” The Washington Post reported.

“You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just okay,” Pelosi told Democrats.

But “The Squad”—Representatives. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York.), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts)—said she was speaking from a bully pulpit and that they didn’t appreciate her tactics of intimidation.

The four are struggling with the speaker’s moves to isolate them in recent weeks, according to the Post’s interviews with the lawmakers, congressional aides and allies.

According to the news outlet, Pelosi has made at least half a dozen remarks dismissing the group or their far-left proposals on the environment and health care. More recently she scorned their lonely opposition to the party’s emergency border bill last month.

And, the Post reported, she defended those comments Wednesday, saying, “I have no regrets about anything. Regrets is not what I do,” doubling down on her claim that the group has little power in the House.

“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post. “But the persistent singling out . . . it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful . . . the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”

The four women are trying to figure out how to respond, texting one another and weighing whether to confront Pelosi to ask her to stop. But for now, they are focused on their congressional duties, even as they defend their votes in the House that have drawn Pelosi’s ire.

“Thank God my mother gave me broad shoulders and a strong back. I can handle it. I’m not worried about me,” said Pressley, who called Pelosi’s comments “demoralizing.” “I am worried about the signal that it sends to people I speak to and for, who sent me here with a mandate, and how it affects them.”

However, their ability to work together—or refusal to—will have major implications for Democrats as they seek to oust President Trump and retain their majority in next year’s election.

“A majority is a fragile thing,” Pelosi said, according to two people present for the remarks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private meeting, adding that members should show “some level of respect and sensitivity” to more moderate colleagues: “You make me the target, but don’t make our [moderates] the target in all of this, because we have important fish to fry.”

Research contact: @washingtonpost