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Politics / Press Releases

Nancy Pelosi Kills America’s State of the Union – What Next?

pelosi-speaker-house-gavel
January 3, 2019 | Photo credit: Ryan Saavedra

Over coffee in diners and pasta in kitchens, Americans are saying one thing:  Washington, grow up.  They know most fellow Americans rise for work, act responsibly, and earn an honest living.  Whatever they think of President Trump – who appears to keep promises – they disdain the know-it-all, self-satisfied, smug-as-a-bug Congress.

Last week, in an act of breathtaking hubris, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used her newly-reclaimed gavel and pedestal to simply disinvite a President of the United States from delivering the Nation’s Annual State of the Union address.  Average Americans, whether they planned to watch or not, should be aghast.  

Never mind this tradition is constitutionally authorized under Article II, section 3, clause 1.  Never mind, the speech is a mainstay – on the nation’s calendar since Woodrow Wilson’s in-person address in 1913, with 95 given in-person to Congress.  Never mind the address is expected by Americans – and viewed around the world as a touchstone of our republic’s health. 

One person – Nancy Pelosi – pulled rank, declaring the speech will not happen.  Every American – Democrat, Republican, or neither – should be asking what is up, and more specifically, what is wrong with this Speaker.  The audacity of this act is almost beyond rational comment.  Is there no respect in this House for history?  For the office of the presidency?  For the expectations of the American People? 

And why did the Speaker do this? Because the president insisted on 5.7 billion dollars to finance a barrier on America’s Southwest Border – to protect our health and safety.  That barrier – a wall – aims to deter, prevent and slow illegal immigration and drug trafficking into America’s towns and cities.  The President aims to protect the country, a labor which he is constitutionally sworn to undertake – just as Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat Caucus are. 

So the President asked 5.7 billion dollars be added to a one trillion dollar bill.  Now, there are a million billions in a trillion, so the president is asking less than one percent of that bill – for the wall.  Or less than 2 percent of discretionary spending in it (i.e. non-entitlement funds).  But no, say the Democrats.  And for a mule-kick in the teeth:  No State of the Union.

Here is the interesting part.  Forced to do so, this President just canceled the State of the Union.  But last week, he took a constitutional shot at the Speaker, cancelling her “CODEL” by military plane to Europe and Afghanistan. 

Mean?  Disproportionate?  On one hand, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) called the spat “sophomoric.”  And one has to wonder, where will this clash of constitutional prerogatives end?  Probably nowhere good.  Likely, Congress steps up to the President’s compromise, or he goes with a national emergency and initiates an executive transfer.

But look closer.  Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are showcasing the runaway privileges of Congress – and the President is calling them out.  Not only are they not doing their jobs, they are having fun on your hard-earned money.  What the President did – either intentionally or by happenstance – in denying Nancy Pelosi her free plane is shine a light on Congressional perks.  There are many.

Here is what hard-working Americans often do not know.  Congress takes tens of millions of dollars in free trips around the world every year, at taxpayer expense.  On the cheaper end, they use tax dollars for commercial flights.  These (rather oddly) average $10,000 per trip.  Members and staff in 2016 took 557 such trips, averaging $10,000 per person per trip, Europe to Far East.  While overall costs are hidden, public reports record at least $14.7 million in taxpayer dollars in 2016 for these commercial trips.  That will top $20 million this year, according to Treasury.

More often and mostly unreported, congressional delegation trips (so-called “CODELs”) and staff delegation trips (“STAFFDELs) use top-end military planes for these festive outings.  There are hundreds of these annually, averaging more than $100,000 per trip – just for the plane.  Onboard, they gets free drinks, food, security and every comfort. 

More, they big per diem money that allows buying extras, a host room where they stay, and no customs agent on return.  Why do you think CODEL trips return late at night?  No announcement?  Reporters and cameramen are asleep, while members take their hauls quietly home.

These trips contain “down time” which is often spent shopping, purchasing everything from fancy foreign rugs and local handiwork to exotic foreign gifts.  Most left unreported, that is your “fact finding.”  Truth is, in floor debates, drafting legislation and in hearings, they use a Congressional Research Service report, most days.  

What of other perks?  Members of Congress get $174,000 in salary, and half the year off (239 days to be exact).  They get free downtown and airport parking, free gym privileges, free healthcare subsides, and a retirement plan that offers a $59,000 pension, versus average American’s social security of $15,000.  They get free medical care downstairs in the Capitol, for all shots from foreign travel inoculations to the flu. 

It gets better.  Until otherwise corrected, they are all exempt from dozens of laws, slander and libel on chamber floors to avoidance of Freedom of Information Act requirements.  They are not required to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Act requirements, despite holding hearings on why others don’t.

Beyond that slush fund to pay off harassment claims – again using your money for their settlements – they are exempt from compliance with protections against retaliation for whistleblowers, posting worker rights, prosecution for retaliating against employees, requirements to train employees about workplace rights and legal remedies, or record-keeping requirements for workplace injuries and illnesses.  Who is holding the hearings on those issues?  Not Nancy Pelosi.

How can all this be, you might ask?  Allow me to answer a question with a question:  Who passes these laws?  Who has the power to exempt themselves from OSHA to provisions of insider trading?  Congress, of course. 

As Democrat-controlled House members grouse about White House security clearances, mark this too:  No member of Congress is required to go through a full-field security check or to pass even a SECRET security clearance, before they can demand and see anything. 

Nor are they required to conform to traditional requirements issuing subpoenas.  Rather than bound by standard federal practices, congressional processes are insular and self-set.  Thus, Democrat counsel has been known to call Republican deposition witnesses and tell them not to comply with majority subpoenas.  One would think Canons of Ethics, but not here.

So, as the Nation waits for the State of the Union speech that will not occur – since an untethered, unbridled House Speaker has canceled it, we might be inclined to ask:  Where is the check on Congress, which seems not only against fences, but increasingly unfenced?  When will rationality and accountability return?  When will Washington grow up? 


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ROSALIE SHOAFSTALL
3 years ago

WE SHOULD GET RID OF ALL OF THEM AND FIND SOME TRUE AMERICANS WHO LOVE OUR COUNTRY AND WILL KEEP IT GOING. THE SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN DO NOT KNOW HOW TO WORK AND TRY TO GET SOMETHING GOOD GOING.

Lan
3 years ago

Yes Pelosi is a disgrace. The President is taking a stand on the protection of this country as he should. We need the wall.

Carolyn Nuss
3 years ago

Piglosi is evil. She’s more obsessed with her hatred for the president than she is in helping this country. Let that sink in, everybody.

Chester
3 years ago

Pelosi only care about flaunting the power of the speaker. She gets to wave her magic wand….I mean Gavel..and scream I am the speaker. A pathetic little mind at best.

Carol A Sublette
3 years ago

NANCY PELOSI’S “SANITY “…. NEEDS TO
BE ….. LEGALLY CHALLENGED!

Carol A Sublette
3 years ago

THIS IS AN OBVIOUS “HATE TRUMP” MOVE
BY NANCY P.! SHE HAS NO SHAME……… BUT
THEN ANYONE WHO WOULD… APPLAUD…
THE KILLING OF PEOPLE, YES “P E O P L E”,
AS THEY “ENTER” THIS WORLD……. HAS NO
SHAME…. NO RATIONALITY…. NO COMMON SENSE
WHATSOEVER!! SHE IS WOEFULLY NEGLECTFUL
OF HER DUTIES AS A CONGRESS-PERSON…….
…. AND AS A HUMAN BEING!
SHE HAS PROVEN TO BE…… “CLINICALLY”
AND “LEGALLY ” IN-SANE…… AND TRULY SHOULD BE DECLARED……… INCOMPETENT
IN MIND AND SOUL!! ”
(This is meant to be a completely sane and
serious comment……. NOT a PREJUDICIAL
Rant against Nancy P.)

Lynette
3 years ago

I’d like to see a poll of regular everyday American’s as to the audacity of this Speaker’s behavior.

Croaker
3 years ago

Old no-no Nancy appears demented and may not appreciate that her spiteful attacks on the President are more than a family tiff; they harm the entire nation.
Every day of delay on building an adequate border defense results in more lives lost to homicide and drug overdoses.
The younger democrats who do nothing as old no-no Nancy continues to destroy the country have blood on their hands too.

Sharon McNatt
3 years ago

We-The-People need to take responsibility for this corruption… we turned our heads and kept re-electing the same corrupt garbage year after year. Now it time to change this… lets use president Trumps willingness to take on the swamp.

tony rego
3 years ago

No, they will not grow up because they are just driven by their egos. What a shame that they (Congress) are so shallow and unethical that they look in the mirror and see only themselves and their control. What falser pride and a pity to this nation and remember just who voted them in but others just as misguided and shallow.

Bls
3 years ago

A rich politician with 280,000 constituents has declared herself to be boss of the guy who was voted President by almost 63 million people.
NP
275,292 votes in CA 12th Congressional Election 2018
220 votes from House of Representatives in 2019
CS
5,221,949 votes in New York State Election 2016
fewer than 50 votes as Senate Minority Leader 2018
DT
62,800,000 votes from across USA in 2016

Potawatomi13
3 years ago

The worthless whore for the NWO and socialism should be hanged for treason!

Teresa Caldwell
3 years ago

Pelosi won again (as usual don’t know how she always manages to get her way) She needs to be removed from office NOW. She is a disgrace to our country. Thought Trump would stand up to her but as usual she got her way.

Mary Genualdi
3 years ago

ALL OF THIS HAS GOT TO STOP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE ARE A BUNCH OF FOOLS FOR NOT MAKING CONGRESS BE ACCOUNTABLE .

Nancy H.
3 years ago

Who made Nancy Pelosi President! She should not have the power to invite or cancel the State of the Union
address. Tell your congress person America is more than California and New York there are a lot states in between.
We must let our voices be heard!

David E Scott
3 years ago

she’s nutts who in the H votes for this person?

ONTIME
3 years ago

Nancy Pee’s idea of free speech and the right of Americans to hear the public SOTUS remarks by the POTUS in a congressional environment…it is so like her to act anti American…..who is her special interest in these matters?????

Tammy
3 years ago

IMO we need to clean house and re establish a new congress that is a 8 year term with all benefits as the rest of the Americans. You get what you pay for and save for. Can you imagine expecting a wage while not being expected to go to work? Getting free medical and retirement never having to pay into SSI? Congress is the backbone of entitlement.

Joel L
3 years ago

I am 65 years old and in every election I hear all of the same rhetoric. I am continually amazed at how all of the above, even if brought up in the continuing election cycle is quickly quieted.
Thank you AMAC for putting this into print. I shall forward to as many of my non member friends so they get to see we have a place to see reasonable questions brought up by AMAC regarding the elite who try to tell us they have our best intentions at heart. God save America!

David K Fossum
3 years ago

I was/am aware of most of these travesties of protocol and benefits but it’s time to stop the nonesense and remove many of these ‘privileges.’ It’s sickening and has to stop. No wonder they all wind up millionaires before leaving office. It makes me sick

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