Fighting Back: “Democrats will fight those who are hijacking our Constitution to appease their racist base.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida decrying the Trump administrations diversion of funds earmarked for military families to build his racist border wall.

(Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, the Congresswoman highlighted Democrats’ commitment to fighting Trump’s decision to cancel vital military construction projects.)

“President Trump says he will steal $3.6 billion from projects that the military requested, and Congress appropriated funding for – and divert it to a xenophobic vanity wall project on our Southwest border.

“That $3.6 billion total, for context, is equal to nearly half of the entire Defense Department construction program.

“Let’s forget for a moment that the Constitution expressly forbids this: No President can spend funds not appropriated by Congress.

“Instead, focus on who he’s robbing to pay for this monument to intolerance: Our brave service members.

“Democrats will fight this hijacking aimed at our armed forces every way we can. We’re fighting For The People: to lower health costs and prescription drug prices; to raise wages by rebuilding America’s infrastructure; to clean up corruption to make Washington work for you.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Transcript: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

“Hello, I’m Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and I’m happy to join you from South Florida today.

“Over these last couple of weeks, like many of you, I stood alongside my neighbors as we prepared for Hurricane Dorian.

“For the most part, Florida was spared. But I know many of you still face this dangerous storm, so stay safe and be prepared.

“I hope those of you who, like me, are now safe, will reach out to those who were not so fortunate, especially to those in the Bahamas.

“We’re never stronger as Americans than when we face down a crisis like Dorian together – then help everyone get back on their feet.

“So today we must also remember the women and men who are the first to respond in dangerous moments like this. Sincerely, we thank you.

“And like first responders, no Americans are asked to sacrifice more for our safety than those serving in our armed forces.

“That’s who I want to talk to you about today.

“These brave men and women keep us safe, protect our shores and provide a beacon of peace, hope and democracy around the globe.

“Yet these sons and daughters who serve must endure billions of dollars in unmet military construction needs.

“In fact, last year the Pentagon rated more than 30 percent of its infrastructure worldwide as poor or failing.

“Their needs include intelligence, training and repair facilities, to basics like the construction of fire stations, schools and clinics for their children and families on base.

“Despite those needs, the President is threatening to make our service members’ lives even harder.

“President Trump says he will steal $3.6 billion from projects that the military requested, and Congress appropriated funding for – and divert it to a xenophobic vanity wall project on our Southwest border.

“That $3.6 billion total, for context, is equal to nearly half of the entire Defense Department construction program.

“Let’s forget for a moment that the Constitution expressly forbids this: No President can spend funds not appropriated by Congress.

“And for now, ignore all the security experts who agree this medieval fence would be an ineffective, colossal waste of tax dollars.

“With good reason, Congress repeatedly refused to fund this wasteful wall on a bipartisan basis because it’s the very definition of a boondoggle.

“Instead, focus on who he’s robbing to pay for this monument to intolerance: Our brave service members.

“Trump would poach funds from an elementary school for service members’ children at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and divert funding from a middle school at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

“Dozens of projects in nearly two dozen states, from fire houses and flight simulation facilities, to roads and dining halls, they all would be sacrificed for Trump’s wall.

“This unconstitutional act would not only weaken our troops serving stateside but would siphon funds from similar projects around the globe, and handcuff efforts to combat Russian aggression and protect our national security.

“I chair the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee.

“It is just one panel in Congress that scrutinizes military construction projects, very carefully.

“We all work with military leaders to review, confirm and prioritize them, and each must withstand tests of fiscal responsibility and operational necessity.

“Yet the President wants to swipe billions from approved military projects, just to fulfill a foolish campaign promise – a broken promise, remember, because US taxpayers, not Mexico, will be paying for this monstrosity.

“I’ve visited numerous U.S. bases, at home and abroad.

“I look in the faces of women and men who spend stressful months far from loved ones, just to protect us – who risk their lives daily for this noble idea we call America.

“And I know we cannot let these patriots down by allowing Trump to cut their legs out just so he can deliver on his bigoted rally cry.

“They deserve better. A lot better.

“This attack on the military and our Constitution is not something we can or will take lightly.

“Democrats will fight this hijacking aimed at our armed forces every way we can. We’re fighting For The People: to lower health costs and prescription drug prices; to raise wages by rebuilding America’s infrastructure; to clean up corruption to make Washington work for you.

“But this President thrives on distraction and disinformation.

“He fuels nativist anxieties, and ignores compassionate, comprehensive immigration reforms.

“He taunts trading partners and allies abroad, then neglects our crumbling infrastructure and the chance to build a green economy at home.

“More than anything, he wants Americans to become numb to the gun violence ravaging our communities every day.

“That’s really what the border wall fight is about: a wasteful solution to a manufactured crisis that intoxicates his base and turns our service members into political pawns.

“We cannot allow this President to turn our national security into some sick reality TV plot.

“There are too many brave women and men who will be stuck in run-down facilities, and their families left without badly-needed schools, day cares and clinics.

“For those still braving Dorian, please be safe. For those who want our servicemembers and their families kept safe, join us in speaking out for them and having their back.

“As a proud American and Democrat, I certainly will.

“God bless our armed forces and God bless America.”

Any bolding has been added.

~

Pelosi Statement on Trump Administration Transferring Funds from U.S. Military Construction Accounts to Pay for Wasteful, Ineffective Wall

September 3, 2019

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to transfer $3.6 billion from military construction funds to pay for his border wall:

“The Administration’s irresponsible decision to transfer funds from appropriated U.S. military construction makes America less safe and dishonors the Constitution. The President is negating the Constitution’s most fundamental principle, the separation of powers, by assaulting our Congressional ‘power of the purse,’ and is undermining the oath of office we take to protect and defend the Constitution and the American people.

“Canceling military construction projects at home and abroad will undermine our national security and the quality of life and morale of our troops, making America less secure.

“The President says that he is building the wall for national security reasons, but America should instead address the root causes of migration in the countries of origin. As our bipartisan Congressional delegation saw firsthand last month in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America, we should be strengthening U.S. initiatives. Yet, the Administration has decided to move critical funding from effective and proven counternarcotics and stability and security initiatives to build an ineffective, wasteful wall. This senseless decision will only worsen the underlying causes of migration.

“The House will continue to fight this unacceptable and deeply dangerous decision in the Courts, in the Congress and in the court of public opinion, and honor our oath to protect the Constitution.”

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Congress is still in recess so there was no weekly news conference from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. She was in Europe this past week at the legislative leaders G-7. From Associated Press: Pelosi calms allies, talks climate at G7 meeting unlike Trump:

September 6, 2019

BREST, France (AP) – It was a somewhat different atmosphere at this G-7 meeting.

At last month’s Group of Seven summit, President Donald Trump came under pressure from fellow leaders over his policies on China, trade, Russia and Iran. And he didn’t even show up at a global climate meeting.

On Friday, legislative leaders met in France to discuss saving the world’s oceans and other problems. The mood was friendly as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined parliamentary chiefs from Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Canada and Italy.

Pelosi, who’s emerged as an alternative U.S. ambassador abroad, stressed the shared need to reduce emissions and expressed hope that young people can change U.S. climate policy.

Her comments:

Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, Mr. President. I want to join our colleagues in thanking you for bringing us together for this most enlightening, informative and frankly hopeful meeting. You have been an inspiration to us throughout. And when you weren’t, others that you called in were.

It’s been just wonderful and a very hard act to follow next year, wherever we decide to meet.

But in any case, I’m very honored to be here. I had the privilege of being with you and your colleagues, we came for the 75th anniversary of Normandy. And I thank you again for your magnificent hospitality that you extended at that time. That day, we honored one of the greatest acts of heroism in our country and this morning you gave us the privilege of honoring the sailors from World War I. Thank you for including us in that reverence.

Now, it’s an honor to come here and confront one of the great challenges of our time: the climate crisis and its devastating impact on the oceans.

Thank you again for your tremendous leadership. Your opening statement today, in some ways, reiterates some of your spontaneous remarks last night. A very strong commitment – knowledge-based, science-based, evidence-based – very serious, very valuable.

On behalf of the House of Representatives, I thank you and the French government for your leadership to protect climate. As President Macron said when he addressed the Joint Session of Congress last year, ‘There is no planet B.’

So, again, I thank you, again, for your emphasis on parliaments and our interactions together, as we address the threat to our planet.

Again, it’s fitting that we meet in Brest, where the impact of the climate crisis and to the oceans are seen firsthand.

As you have informed us, we see in the tens of thousands of good-paying jobs that are at risk from the pollution and warming waters that are killing off fish and shellfish.

Also at risk is public health, sparked by the toxic algae blooms and the choking of beaches and waterways. Risk – not happening necessarily, but the risk.

And the risk of rapid erosion of the beautiful coastline which threatens the dynamism of Brittany’s world-class tourism industry. Scientists predict that this shoreline could retreat 100 meters in this century alone. And we can stop that. And we must.

One ocean. I think it was very impressive to see the map. One ocean, you have three oceans in Canada, we have one ocean in the world, Mr. Stanton, and we’re all impacted by – our distinguished, and our distinguished colleague from Germany said yesterday that they are not on the oceans, but affected by the oceans, nonetheless.

I have said to the President of China, ‘You don’t, you are not’ – both of them, Hu and now Xi – ‘You are not on the Arctic Circle, but you are affected by the thermal management of the planet that is being eroded there and you are contributing to that erosion.’

So, we are all connected one way or another. The climate crisis is melting sea ice, raising sea levels, acidifying and warming the oceans. We saw some of that earlier today, impacting food safety, health and financial security of 2.4 billion people who live less than 100 kilometers from the coast.

There is illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing of more than 30 percent of the world stocks are overfished at a time that fish consumption is soaring, surpassing population growth.

The losses from overfishing are estimated to be – this is a staggering figure – around $83 billion a year, a year. And rising pollution, which is choking off marine life – poisoning not only our oceans which cover, as we all know and have been hearing all day, 70 percent of the planet. It’s not just the 70 percent though, it’s the entire globe. By 2050, this has been referenced again and again, there’ll be more than, more tons of plastic – has been referenced maybe the same, but nonetheless – as much or more tons of plastic than fish in the ocean.

And this morning, of course, we had the beautiful presentation on the natural – plastics presentation, that talked about prevention: recycling and recycling and recycling and recycling and recycling – not just three to five times, but infinitely – and innovation. That gives us – that scientific basis gives us hope.

I identify – I associate myself with the remarks of many who’ve spoken, [President Ferrand], in particular, in this respect. The threat to the oceans is a threat to humanity itself. Every aspect of our lives, our health, our ability to feed ourselves, our financial security, our jobs, our national security, global security is at risk.

Taking action on the ocean is a public health decision. I always say the climate issue, and now particularly oceans, can be dealt with as a public health decisions for clean air, clean water and combatting the climate crisis. As your meetings all day have confirmed, the oceans are our most powerful climate buffer, capturing nearly 30 percent of CO2 released each year, 93 percent of the excess heat from emissions. Without oceans acting as a sponge, the Earth’s temperature would be 95 degrees warmer over time.

It’s also a public health decision for the sustenance of the over 3 billion people who rely on seafood as their primary source of protein, whose health and well-being are at risk for overfishing, pollution and the impact of climate crisis. We keep coming back to that.

The latest UN panel report, the IPCC, the International [Panel on Climate Change], found that marine resources are being exploited at ‘unprecedented’ rates, threatening humanity’s ability to feed itself. With more than ten percent of the world’s population is undernourished and threats to the food supply risk accelerating the crisis of food insecurity and poverty. So, I see this, as I’ll say later, as a justice issue, as well.

Protecting the oceans is also an economic issue. It’s a public health issue. It’s a jobs issue. An economic decision with the creation of good, green paying jobs, safeguarding the $2.3 trillion ocean economy and generating countless new clean energy jobs by building climate-resilient infrastructure.

Public health. Jobs. It is a security issue, as well. It’s a security decision to combat the extreme weather events and resource competition that drive migration around the world. Last week, I was in the Northern Triangle in Central America, where we were told by farmers, they were leaving, they were migrating, because the drought had made it impossible for them to farm – to farm. So again, contributing to climate migration.

Again, it is a security issue. Our Department of Defense recently concluded that, ‘The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense missions, operational plans and instillations.’

This is because rising sea levels, encroachment of deserts, famine, competition for habitats. All competition for resources and habitat are cause for conflict, and again, protecting the oceans is a way to mitigate and minimize that.

Finally, we must protect the oceans as a moral decision. Public health, economic, and jobs, security. It’s a moral decision. If you believe, as I, that this is God’s creation, we must have a responsibility to be good stewards of it. But, even if you don’t share that view, we all understand we have a moral responsibility to pass this planet on to future generations in a healthy, sustainable way.

And as our distinguished colleague from Germany, President Schäuble, has said, young people know. They know. They’ve grown impatient with excuses for not addressing this.

And, I will just tell this one anecdote. I, last year – not this year, but last year – every year, there’s a Science March in the U.S. And, last year it was in Seattle. When I was there, I spoke on the program. Following me, thank heavens, on the program the next presentation was from a kindergarten student who saw a show on TV about how straws, plastic straws, were hurting animals in the ocean.

So, she started a campaign to end plastic straws. When I told her how impressed I was about her leadership, she said, ‘Oh yes, and I brought other speakers here today, some are as old as eight years old.’

[Laughter]

So, at that age, they knew that everything in nature is connected and this plastic straw business had to stop. So, we have to find other ways to attract, to find solutions for young people to participate.

The future of the planet belongs to them and we owe them a responsible transition.

When Pope Francis visited the United States and spoke at the White House and at the Capitol before a Joint Session of Congress, he addressed the climate crisis as air pollution. And, it went over big because, for some people, climate, oceans seem a little remote to them. But air pollution is very immediate to them and to their families.

I thanked him for that because it made it to everyone. As he wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si’, ‘The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.’

Protecting the common good is, therefore, a matter of justice. If we do not increase climate resilience, the most vulnerable among us, indigenous people in developing nations, indigenous people period, people in developing nations, communities of color will be hardest hit and first.

That is why I will be pleased next year to host the 2020 G7 Speakers Meeting in the United States. Definite location to be determined. Which will be dedicated to taking your lead, Mr. President, addressing the climate crisis, certainly continuing our conversation on the oceans, but this will be called ‘Addressing the Climate Crisis with Economic and Environmental Justice for All.’

We do – we must commit to big thinking and bold action to combat the two great challenges: the climate crisis and income disparity, which are fundamentally linked.

All of us, as representatives of G7 nations, which have contributed the most to the crisis, frankly, have a special responsibility to act and a special opportunity to make a difference.

And, for that reason, I thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership in this statement that you have challenged us with and that I am very proud to support. You have given us an opportunity to bring the power of the parliament, whether that is the power of the purse, the power to deploy funding that is needed for ocean research, resilience, monitoring and mitigation efforts.

Parliaments have the opportunity to convene diverse communities, people of faith and concerned scientists, labor and business leaders, environmentalists and local and state and federal governments in search of an innovative, effective solution.

We, as parliamentarians, have the opportunity to reverse a growing anti-government, anti-science agenda that ignores the facts and puts big corporate financial interests ahead of the public interest. That’s why I was so pleased to hear, in your comments earlier, talk about evidence-based, science-based decision making on all of this.

Believe it or not, there are some places where the science — in fact, there was a decision made by our Administration in the United States, that we would not use science as a basis for making decisions about the Endangered Species Act, just to make your day.

Today, as Speaker of the House, I am here to send a message – especially among our young people – America’s commitment to combating the climate crisis is ironclad. Ironclad.

We passed in the House, among our [top] ten bills passed, when we took the Majority, Climate Action Now, embracing, once again, the Paris Accord and asking the Administration, if not that, what are their plans?

The climate crisis and energy security are flagship issues for us. Again, we have achieved landmark progress, and in a bipartisan way, under President Bush. He didn’t subscribe to climate, but he worked with us on the energy issue, and we passed the biggest energy bill in the history of our country, the equivalent of taking millions of cars off the road by raising emissions standards.

We now have a Select Committee, again on Climate Crisis, chaired by Kathy Castor of Florida, who knows full well the impact of the climate crisis on hurricanes, right now, affecting her region.

So, let us remember the message that Pope Francis enshrined in his encyclical, ‘We are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference.’

As Speakers of the G7, let us work together as parliamentarians, committed to work to the globalization of action, not the indifference to the climate crisis, so that we can achieve justice and better futures for every member of our human family and give confidence to our young people that they are, first and foremost, our priority.

Thank you again for your leadership. I look forward to hosting this important event next year, and you have set a high standard in the ideas and in the presentations and in the beautiful hospitality. I thank you for that, again, and yield back the balance of my time.

~

Pelosi Statement on DOJ Antitrust Investigation into Four Automakers

September 6, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement following reports that the Department of Justice has opened an antitrust investigation into four automakers who plan to adhere to fuel efficiency standards set by the state of California:

The Department of Justice’s reported investigation of the auto companies is frivolous and pretextual, and seeks to weaponize law enforcement for partisan political purposes to advance the Trump Administration’s toxic special interest agenda.

“California’s agreement with four leading automakers to strengthen fuel emissions standards is in support of a legitimate public interest goal: keeping our families safe and safeguarding our clean air for future generations. Far from hindering healthy competition, California’s agreement promotes a race-to-the-top among automakers to meet the new emission standards, benefiting consumers, strengthening our economy and protecting our environment. The Department of Justice must end this sham investigation and return to policing actual anticompetitive conduct.

House Democrats stand with California and the 13 states and District of Columbia that join it in setting strong, effective emissions standards to fight for a sustainable, clean energy future for our children and grandchildren to grow and thrive. We will not let the Trump Administration’s dangerous agenda prevent us from achieving success in this critical mission.”

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  1 comment for “Fighting Back: “Democrats will fight those who are hijacking our Constitution to appease their racist base.”

  1. JanF
    September 7, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Pelosi Statement on August Jobs Report

    September 6, 2019
    Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the Department of Labor issued its August jobs report:

    “The August jobs report offers little comfort in an economy faltering under the Trump Administration’s reckless agenda to undermine the health, financial security and well-being of the American people.

    “Uncertainty is surging, farmers are struggling and families across the nation are facing rising costs of living as the GOP’s special interest giveaways continue to hollow out the economy. Instead of working to lower health costs, the President and Republicans continue their cruel battle in the courts to strike down protections for people with pre-existing conditions and every other benefit and protection of the Affordable Care Act.

    “House Democrats are fighting #ForThePeople, to lower health costs, increase paychecks and clean up corruption in Washington. While the Administration furthers their outrageous special interest agenda, House Democrats are hard at work to build an economy that works for every American.”

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