Such an adept politician.
That is not a compliment.
WASHINGTON — Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi vowed to pass legislation that would put so-called Dreamers — young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — on a pathway to citizenship when her party retakes control of Congress' lower chamber in January.
"America draws strength from our long, proud heritage as a nation of immigrants. In the Majority, Democrats will work to reverse the Republicans' destructive anti-immigrant agenda," Pelosi said in a statement Saturday, responding to a letter sent Thursday by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. "Our House Democratic Majority will once again pass the Dream Act to end the uncertainty and fear inflicted on patriotic young men and women across the country."
Lawmakers in the Caucus urged Pelosi — who is vying to secure her second spell as speaker of the House during the upcoming congressional session — to schedule votes on legislation to codify protections for recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and for immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) within the first 100 days of the 116th Congress.
"We will protect TPS recipients and those fleeing unimaginable violence," Pelosi added in her statement.
Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-New York, one of the members of Congress who signed the letter to Pelosi, told CBS News that Democrats should move ahead "expeditiously" in January to pass bills that shield Dreamers and TPS holders from deportation, without providing any funding for a wall on the southern border — which President Trump and many Republicans have said needs to be included in any bipartisan immigration proposal.
"I think the Dream Act should be taken on alone, with no poison pills attached to it," Espaillat said.
The congressman from New York added House Democrats should try to pass the bills within the first 100 days of the next session — something Pelosi did not promise in her statement.
"These young people are still in limbo," Espaillat said. "Had it not been for the courts, they would probably be underground, they would be in the shadows."
The Trump administration tried to dismantle DACA, which covers approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants, in the fall of 2017 — but a prolonged court battle has kept the program alive. The Department of Homeland Security also announced the eventual termination of TPS programs for El Salvador, Honduras, Sudan and Haiti, but a federal judge blocked the decision in early October.
The government has appealed the TPS court ruling and urged the Supreme Court to hear the DACA case.
In her statement, Pelosi also suggested Democratic-controlled committees in the House will probe the White House's controversial practice of forcibly separating migrant children from their parents near the U.S.-Mexico border — which President Trump was forced to rescind by way of an executive order after a massive uproar.
"We will hold the Trump Administration accountable for their inhuman policy of separating families, and the trauma and anguish they have inflicted on vulnerable children and families at our border," she said.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus also stressed in their letter to Pelosi that passing comprehensive immigration reform should be a priority when Democrats take control of the House for the first time since 2011. The Latino lawmakers said the bill should include provisions to allow deported U.S. military veterans to come back to the country, end "the militarization" of the southern border, reunify still-separated migrant families and provide a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S.
"These hardworking, taxpaying undocumented workers have enriched our country, while contributing their knowledge, traditions, and intellect to the fabric of our culture. They are part of America's economic engine," they wrote in their letter.
It's a bit odd to read of Democrats complaining about supposed "assaults on the character" of their political leaders.
In 1981, Tip O'Neill was Speaker when President Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan. The Democrats lost the Senate and a score of seats in the House. A group of insurgent Democrats decided it was time for a change of leadership and launched an attack on O'Neill to dethrone him as Speaker. He had been depicted by the Republicans as too old, too Massachusetts and from a bygone era of Democratic politics - some of the same arguments being used against Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
But O'Neill summoned his skills honed over 40 years laboring in the legislative vineyards to advance the Democratic agenda and beat back the insurgents. The rest, as they say is history. Over the next two years O'Neill galvanized the Democratic House as the loyal opposition as a redoubt against the Reagan revolution. He stood firm to protect social security and other safety net social programs. He became the foil to a popular president and when he retired in 1986, his popularity was on a par with Reagan's. In 1982, he led the Democrats to capture 26 seats in the midterms.
O'Neill's leadership in the House preserved Democratic programs and values - exactly what Nancy Pelosi has done in her years in the House, both as the first woman Speaker and then as minority leader. The next two years will require the same skill, dexterity and political perspicacity in the current split government that was required of O'Neill in 1981. There is another parallel between O'Neill and Pelosi that will serve her ability to manage an unprecedently diverse Democratic Caucus.
O'Neill hailed from the liberal academic enclave of Cambridge but brought a working class sensibility to office (his father was superintendent of sewers). Although Pelosi has resided in San Francisco for decades, she too hails from the working class precincts of Baltimore. O'Neill used the instincts honed in representing diverse districts to bridge a divide in a Caucus that ranged from Southern Democrats (William Jennings Bryan Dorn of North Carolina - who voted with liberals a mere 16 percent of the time - seconded his nomination for majority leader) to Northeast liberals - something Pelosi will also need to do to preserve her majority.
It is not a time to throw over the sure hand and experience of Pelosi for the fleeting sound bite and superficial appeal of a new face. Leaders with the intestinal fortitude to lead in difficult times aren't born overnight - they are forged in the crucible of adversity and combat that renders them tested for the rigors of a contest with a Republican president and Senate that await the next Speaker. It is no time for unsure hands who have never lived through the legislative battles that Pelosi has successfully navigated. Just as O'Neill was the man for his time in the House, Pelosi is the woman for her time in the same way. The Democrats should read history and follow the proven path shown over 37 years ago.
Joe hasn't posted in a couple of years, so I doubt he'll answer, but yes, Pelosi, having done a strong job as Speaker the first time around is clearly the right candidate.
In a private meeting with senior members of her party after a remarkable clash with President Trump in the Oval Office, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi questioned Mr. Trump's manhood and compared him to a skunk, according to an aide in the room.
"I can't explain it to you. It was so wild," Pelosi told top Democratic legislators after her White House meeting with the president, Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat. "It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you."
The veteran San Francisco lawmaker said she "was trying to be the mom" in the room when the president and Schumer began sparring over the possibility of a government shutdown if Democratic lawmakers did not budge on Mr. Trump's $5 billion demand to fund the construction of a wall on the southern border.
During the private meeting with her party's leadership, Pelosi linked Mr. Trump's masculinity to his infamous border wall pledge. "It's like a manhood thing for him," she said. "As if manhood could ever be associated with him. This wall thing."
Pelosi also bragged about getting the president to "fully own that the shutdown was his" and labeled it an "accomplishment."
In a contentious exchange with Schumer during meeting, Mr. Trump said "I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck."
"So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not gonna blame you for it. The last time you shut it down it didn't work. I will take the mantle of shutting down. And I'm gonna shut it down for border security," the president added.
Pelosi added that after the meeting concluded, Mr. Trump told her and Schumer, "We can go two routes with this meeting: with a knife or a candy."
"I said, 'Exactly,'" Pelosi told leaders of her caucus.
During one private conversation, Pelosi said she discussed with Mr. Trump "how good" she believed former Republican President Ronald Reagan was on immigration. She said she told Mr. Trump "you probably don't know who I spoke most about on the campaign trail – what president I spoke most about."
"He said, 'Donald Trump," Pelosi added. "I said, 'I never mentioned your name. I never mentioned your name, I'm talking about Ronald Reagan.'"
Rep. Nancy Pelosi clinched the votes for a second stint as House speaker on Wednesday after agreeing to serve no more than four years in a deal with a group of Democratic rebels — a significant concession to their demands for generational change.
The group of insurgents wanted new blood in the top Democratic ranks and maneuvered for months to deny Pelosi (D-Calif.) the votes she would need. After weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiating, Pelosi backed off her resistance to setting a date for her departure but avoided becoming an immediate lame duck.
“Over the summer, I made it clear that I see myself as a bridge to the next generation of leaders, a recognition of my continuing responsibility to mentor and advance new members into positions of power and responsibility in the House Democratic Caucus,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Almost immediately, seven Democratic holdouts said they would back Pelosi. Their support would be enough to secure the House majority that she needs for her election to speaker on Jan. 3 — 218 votes if all members are present and voting for an individual.
According to a Washington Post analysis, that would leave Pelosi with no more 16 Democrats openly opposing her. She could weather as many as 17 defections if all members are voting.
Already the first woman to serve as speaker, Pelosi would cement her place in history by joining a small group of lawmakers who regained the speakership after losing it. She would be the first speaker to do so since Texas Democrat Sam Rayburn took the gavel back in 1955. No other two-time speaker has reclaimed the gavel after more than four years out of power.
The deal with the rebels was a capstone to a remarkable 48 hours for Pelosi, who sparred with President Trump on Tuesday at the White House over his demand for U.S.-Mexico border wall funding. She challenged the Republican president and explained the legislative process to him — a clash that highlighted the stakes of the speakership race and Pelosi’s bid to be the most powerful woman in American politics.
Hours after the White House session, she hashed out the final terms of the deal in her Capitol Hill office with Democratic Reps. Bill Foster (Ill.), Ed Perlmutter (Colo.) and Linda T. Sánchez (Calif.). Over the following day, those members relayed the deal back to fellow colleagues opposing Pelosi and honed the final announcement.
Besides those three members, Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Filemon Vela (D-Tex.), as well as Rep.-elect Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that they would back Pelosi.
“We are proud that our agreement will make lasting institutional change that will strengthen our caucus and will help develop the next generation of Democratic leaders,” they said in a joint statement. “We will support and vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House in the 116th Congress.”
Under the accord, Pelosi, 78, will back a three-term limit for the top four House Democratic leaders, with a possible fourth term if Democratic members vote by a two-thirds majority to retain them.
The limit would be retroactive, meaning Pelosi, incoming House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), incoming House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) — all of whom held the same posts from 2007 to 2011 — would be effectively limited to one, maybe two, terms going forward if the policy is adopted. The term limit would also apply to Rep. Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), who is poised to assume the No. 4 job.
“I am comfortable with the proposal and it is my intention to abide by it whether it passes or not,” Pelosi said.
The vote on term limits would occur by Feb. 15.
Pelosi struck the deal to get “the biggest vote possible and to have as much unity as possible,” said an aide to the leader who was not authorized to comment publicly on the discussions. Absent a deal, the speaker race might have gone to the House floor unsettled, setting up a messy internecine fight.
No Democrat had announced a challenge to Pelosi; her critics envisioned a scenario in which they would deny Pelosi the votes needed on the House floor, touching off a scramble for an alternative.
But the lack of a viable alternative hamstrung the rebels, and as Pelosi leaned on a vast network of political allies to promote her return as speaker, many of her opponents experienced a fierce political backlash.
Moulton, for instance, is facing a potential primary challenge in 2020. He said in a statement that the “conversations have been difficult, but we’re stronger because of them.”
“The leaders of our caucus will no longer be determined by tenure and loyalty but by frequent and open elections, giving us a better chance to change and evolve as the country does,” he said, praising Pelosi for having “showed real leadership by agreeing to these reforms.”
In addition to the term-limits proposal, Pelosi agreed to set up a “leadership development program” open to members who are interested in moving up the caucus’s ranks. The rebels also said Pelosi had agreed not to retaliate against those who had opposed or will continue opposing her. The Pelosi aide disputed that such an assurance was necessary: “She didn’t agree not to retaliate, because she doesn’t retaliate.”
Several freshmen and a handful of incumbents are still expected to oppose her. At least two sitting members critical of Pelosi, Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), said this week they will oppose Pelosi regardless of any vow to step aside in the future.
One aide to a member who participated in the talks said the incumbents — running in safe Democratic districts — wanted to “give cover” to freshmen in more marginal districts who want to stick to campaign pledges and vote against Pelosi without actually blocking her from the gavel.
Pelosi was nominated as speaker by House Democrats last month on a 203-to-32 vote, but many of the Democrats vowed to oppose her in the decisive floor vote if she did not make further concessions, prompting the negotiations.
The term-limit proposal is subject to a vote of House Democrats next year — one that could very well become contentious, with Hoyer and Clyburn expected to oppose it. The limits would not extend to committee chairmen, a contentious proposal that could have sparked political warfare among House Democrats.
Hoyer told reporters Tuesday that he was not for term limits of any sort, dismissing Pelosi’s discussions: “She’s not negotiating for me.”
“I have a term limit — it’s a two-year term limit,” he said, referring to the length of a House term. “I am not for term limits. I am for the intellect of the voter, whether it’s my constituency or my colleague being able to operate without such constraint and choose who they want when they want.”
Clyburn said Wednesday that Pelosi had not consulted him about the proposal but said he had “no concerns” the deal might affect him.
Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), a close friend of Clyburn’s and the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said he thought the term limit was immaterial.
“If he’s here another six years, I would doubt that he’s going to be in the same position,” he said, suggesting Clyburn might move up to a more senior post with a new term limit.
“I think what it is is a moral victory for some people trying to figure out how to land their plane,” Richmond added, referring to the rebels. “You can land it, you can get shot down or you can run out of gas. Might as well land it.”