Pelosi discusses legislation, impeachment in Omaha

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks in Omaha Saturday (Photo by Fred Knapp, NET News)
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October 27, 2019 - 2:11pm

Appearing at a Democratic gathering in Omaha this weekend, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi discussed legislation and impeachment, while sidestepping Republican criticism.

About a thousand people showed up for Pelosi’s speech at the Nebraska Democratic Party’s Morrison Exon fundraising dinner, along with about a dozen protestors outside the Omaha Hilton.

Pelosi touted legislation passed by Democrats in the House on subjects including net neutrality, violence against women, raising the minimum wage, and preventing discrimination based on sexual preference or gender identity. But she lamented that the Senate has not acted on those bills, noting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has styled himself “the Grim Reaper” on legislation passed by Democrats.

People demonstrate against Speaker Nancy Pelosi before her speech Saturday (Photo by Fred Knapp, NET News)

“Imagine calling yourself ‘the Grim Reaper. That’s really low self-esteem, Sen. McConnell. It really is,” she joked.

For his part, McConnell has embraced the label. In an appearance in June on Fox News’ “Ingraham Angle,” he declared “For the first time in my memory, I agree with Nancy Pelosi. I am indeed ‘the Grim Reaper’ when it comes to the socialist agenda that they’ve been ginning up over in the House with overwhelming Democratic support.”

Pelosi praised Nebraska Democrats for continuing what she said was the legacy of former Gov. Frank Morrison and former Gov. and Sen. Jim Exon. “You’re fighting for the hardworking Nebraska families left behind in the GOP agenda – and they are – and for Nebraska farmers struggling under Trump’s trade recklessness and Big Oil assault on ethanol,” she said.

Pelosi didn’t mention Republican criticism of her for not scheduling a vote on the USMCA – the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse is among those who criticized Pelosi for appearing at the fundraiser without having acted on an agreement they say will benefit agricultural producers. “It’s pretty insulting for Speaker Pelosi to ask Nebraskans to bankroll her politics when she’s making it hard for farmers and ranchers to put food on the table,” Sasse said.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau has called USMCA “critical” for farmers and ranchers, and said it’s up to Pelosi to act. At the same time, the Farm Bureau has estimated that tariffs enacted in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s trade policies have cost Nebraska producers up to $2 billion over the last two years.

Pelosi drew some of her most enthusiastic reaction from the Democratic crowd when she spoke about the impeachment inquiry in the House.

Trump has claimed wide-ranging powers, including that he could have fired former special counsel Robert Mueller. On a C-SPAN recording of a conference held by the organization Turning Point USA in July, he declared “Then I have an Article II, where I have right to do whatever I want as president, but I don’t even talk about that.”

Pelosi disputed that interpretation of the Constitution. “It doesn’t say that at all. That doesn’t say that at all. Read the Constitution. It was that separation of power which just freed us from a monarchy and made us a republic,” she said.

Article II of the Constitution, in addition to spelling out the powers of the president, also allows for his or her removal from office by impeachment and conviction for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Pelosi said that’s what’s being considered now. “What is at stake in this discussion isn’t about whether you like somebody or not, or disagree with his policies. That’s for the election. How we make a judgment about someone in office is about the Constitution and the facts.”







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