Pelosi Backs Zelensky In ‘Fight For Freedom’ On Kyiv Visit

A handout photo released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service on May 1, 2022, shows President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky (R) presents the Order of Princess Olga to US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. (Photo by STRINGER / UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP)

 

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi voiced support for Ukraine’s “fight for freedom” at a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky on a visit to Kyiv, US and Ukrainian officials said on Sunday.

“We believe that we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom… Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” Pelosi told Zelensky, according to a video from the Ukrainian presidency.

Zelensky tweeted: “Thank you to the United States for helping protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state”.

“The US is leading strong support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression,” he said.

The trip by a Congressional delegation had not been previously announced.

“Our delegation proudly delivered the message that additional American support is on the way, as we work to transform President Biden’s strong funding request into a legislative package,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement.

US President Joe Biden last week proposed a huge $33-billion (31-billion euro) package for arming and supporting Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Nancy Pelosi Meets Zelensky On Unannounced Visit To Kyiv – Officials

Biden also outlined proposed new laws to allow using luxury assets stripped from Russian oligarchs to compensate Ukraine for the destruction wreaked by the invading Russians.

“When we return to the United States, we will do so further informed, deeply inspired and ready to do what is needed to help the Ukrainian people as they defend democracy for their nation and for the world,” Pelosi’s statement continued.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv last month.

AFP

Nancy Pelosi Meets Zelensky On Unannounced Visit To Kyiv – Officials

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on April 29, 2022, in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP
CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

 

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi voiced support for Ukraine’s “fight for freedom” at a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky on a visit to Kyiv, US and Ukrainian officials said on Sunday.

“We believe that we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom… Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” Pelosi told Zelensky, according to a video from the Ukrainian presidency.

Zelensky tweeted: “Thank you to the United States for helping protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state”.

“The US is leading strong support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression,” he said.

Read Also: Nine Detained In Connection With China Building Collapse

The trip by a Congressional delegation had not been previously announced.

“Our delegation proudly delivered the message that additional American support is on the way, as we work to transform President Biden’s strong funding request into a legislative package,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement.

US President Joe Biden last week proposed a huge $33-billion (31-billion euro) package for arming and supporting Ukraine.

Biden also outlined proposed new laws to allow using luxury assets stripped from Russian oligarchs to compensate Ukraine for the destruction wreaked by the invading Russians.

“When we return to the United States, we will do so further informed, deeply inspired and ready to do what is needed to help the Ukrainian people as they defend democracy for their nation and for the world,” Pelosi’s statement continued.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv last month.

Pelosi Hints Infrastructure Delay As Congress Begins Huge Week

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks alongside members of the House Democratic Women’s Caucus and other Democratic members of Congress, as they hold a press conference promoting the Build Back Better agenda on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, September 24, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

 

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has expressed confidence that a massive infrastructure bill will pass this week but acknowledged it might not get a Monday vote as planned, with fellow Democrats warning critical work remains to meet the party’s deadlines.

Democrats have been scrambling to hammer out a landmark plan to upgrade the nation’s roads and bridges, but are also under immense pressure to finalize a $3.5 trillion public investment package and fund the government to avert a looming shutdown — all by September 30.

The week is among the most critical of President Joe Biden’s tenure, with opposition Republicans digging in against his Build Back Better program that would invest in climate change policy, lower childcare and education costs for working families, and create millions of jobs.

But Pelosi, despite her confidence that the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that has already cleared the Senate with bipartisan support will pass the House of Representatives “this week,” hinted at potential quicksand ahead.

“I’m never bringing a bill to the floor that doesn’t have the votes,” the top Democrat in Congress told ABC Sunday talk show “This Week,” asked about whether she will bring the infrastructure bill to the floor Monday as previously agreed.

“It may be tomorrow — if we have the votes,” she said.

“You cannot choose the date,” she added. “You have to go when you have the votes, in a reasonable time. And we will.”

Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues in a letter Saturday that they “must” pass both of Biden’s huge spending bills, along with legislation that keeps the federal government operating into the next fiscal year beginning October 1.

“The next few days will be a time of intensity,” she wrote.

Irresponsible beyond words’

Pelosi is running into not only a buzzsaw of opposition from Republicans; Democratic progressives and moderates have made clear they need to see quickly exactly what goes in the $3.5 trillion bill.

“The votes aren’t there, so I don’t think she’s going to bring it” to the floor Monday, congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the House progressives, told CNN’s “State of the Union,” regarding the infrastructure bill.

House progressives have repeatedly warned that they won’t green-light infrastructure without Build Back Better.

In order to get the historic spending bill to Biden’s desk, Democrats are using a process called “reconciliation”, which allows certain budget-related legislation to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than 60 votes.

But moderate Senate Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have expressed deep reservations about the huge price tag.

With the Senate evenly split 50-50, their votes would be critical to passing the bill — something that Pelosi, herself a master vote-counter, is keenly aware of.

While all Democrats “overwhelmingly” support Biden’s grand vision, it was “self-evident” that the final price tag for Build Back Better will be lowered, Pelosi said.

She also stressed the importance of funding the government to avoid a looming shutdown, and suspending the debt ceiling to allow federal agencies to make loan repayments.

The House passed a bill Tuesday that would accomplish both goals.

But Senate Republicans have balked overextending the Treasury Department’s borrowing authority this time around, a position Pelosi described as “irresponsible beyond words.”

Pelosi Brands Trump ‘Clear And Present Danger,’ Says ‘He Must Go’

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Speaker’s Balcony in the U.S. AFP

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday demanded the impeachment of Donald Trump in the final week of his presidency, calling him a “clear and present danger” to America for inciting an “armed rebellion” at the US Capitol.

“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” the most powerful Democrat in Congress told the House chamber during the debate over whether to impeach Trump for an unprecedented second time, for “incitement of insurrection.”

“Since the presidential election in November, an election the president lost, he has repeatedly lied about the outcome,” sought to sow doubt about the election process, and “unconstitutionally sought to influence state officials” to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s election win, Pelosi said.

Democrat Pelosi Narrowly Re-Elected As US House Speaker

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 13: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol on November 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. Speaker Pelosi spoke about honoring veterans, the coronavirus, and President-elect Joe Bidens victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election. Samuel Corum/Getty Images/AFP

 

Nancy Pelosi, the only woman to serve as US Speaker of the House, was narrowly re-elected to the position Sunday in a deeply divided new Congress that convened in the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Pelosi, 80, faced a scare when five fellow Democrats defected and voted “present” or for someone else during the floor vote.

But the woman who is third in line to the presidency secured her fourth — and perhaps final — non-consecutive term as House speaker by earning 216 votes versus 209 for Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.

In a symbolic gesture beginning the 117th Congress, McCarthy formally handed the speaker’s gavel over to Pelosi, who raised it in triumph as Democrats cheered and applauded.

“We begin the new Congress during a time of extraordinary difficulty,” Pelosi told the chamber, noting the toll of 350,000 dead and 20 million infected by Covid-19.

“Our most urgent priority will continue to be defeating the coronavirus,” a masked Pelosi said. “And defeat it, we will.”

The vote took hours, as lawmakers were required to vote in groups of several dozen due to social distancing rules imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pelosi has been Trump’s chief nemesis in Congress, and the two clashed bitterly over the past two years, particularly as she leveled impeachment charges against the president.

Trump was impeached in December 2019, but the Senate acquitted him early in 2020. His successor, Joe Biden, takes office on January 20.

With Pelosi scrambling to keep her post, it was a handful of progressive lawmakers and members-elect who have been critical of her leadership but ultimately voted for her on Sunday.

Among them was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most high-profile Democrats in Washington, and incoming lawmaker Cori Bush, who is the first African-American woman to represent Missouri in Congress.

There are normally 435 members of the House, but just 427 votes were cast Sunday as a few congressmen-elect are in quarantine due to Covid-19 and a tight House race in New York has yet to be formally decided.

One congressman-elect from Louisiana, Luke Letlow, died of complications from Covid-19 last week, days before he was due to be sworn in.

That leaves Democrats with one of the slimmest House majorities in two decades, 222 to 211 with two vacancies, as they navigate the remaining few weeks of Trump and carry into the Biden presidency.

On a day that was anything but conventional, Republican Chip Roy interrupted the swearing-in process to ask that the delegations from the six swing states where Trump has contested the election results not be seated Sunday as House members.

Pelosi dispensed with the effort by holding a vote that affirmed her right to swear in all members.

UK Holds Crisis Talks With EU As Pelosi Warns On Brexit Bill

The flags of Britain (R) and the European Union flutter in front of the Chancellery in Berlin, where the British Prime Minister was expected on April 9, 2019. MICHELE TANTUSSI / AFP.

 

Britain held emergency talks with the European Union on Thursday, facing warnings of legal action over a new Brexit bill and a threatening reminder of its obligations to Northern Ireland from leading US Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

Warnings redoubled too within the ranks of the governing Conservative party as former prime minister John Major, who helped lay the foundations for Northern Irish peace in the 1990s, said his successor Boris Johnson risked trashing the UK’s global reputation.

“If we lose our reputation for honouring the promises we make, we will have lost something beyond price that may never be regained,” Major said, after the government conceded that the proposed new legislation would breach an EU withdrawal treaty in the countdown to a full Brexit divorce.

European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic headed to London demanding “clarifications” over the new UK Internal Market Bill, after it was submitted to a stormy session of parliament Wednesday.

“I came here to express serious concerns the European Union has over the proposed bill,” Sefcovic told reporters before starting the meeting with his counterpart on a UK-EU joint committee, Michael Gove.

The bill would give British ministers unilateral powers to regulate trade among England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, once the force of EU law expires after a post-Brexit transition period at the end of this year.

But under the EU withdrawal treaty, Britain is meant to liaise with Brussels on arrangements for Northern Ireland, which will have the UK’s only land border with the EU, and where 30 years of bloodshed ended with a landmark peace deal in 1998.

– Rushed through? –

EU diplomats — and Johnson’s many critics at home including in the UK’s devolved governments — have ridiculed Downing Street’s argument that the EU treaty was written “at pace” and contained unforeseen problems relating to a protocol on Northern Ireland.

But Johnson’s spokesman, rebuffing the criticism from Major and others, stressed the legislation was needed to create a “safety net” for Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trading regime.

“We can’t allow the peace process or the UK internal market to inadvertently be comprised by the ill-intended consequences of the protocol,” the spokesman told reporters.

“We would expect other countries to recognise this and the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in.”

Sefcovic and Gove met on the last day of a parallel track of negotiations this week in London that have struggled to make headway on a future trading relationship, as Britain unwinds nearly 50 years of European integration.

Johnson’s critics say the new bill is aimed partly at torpedoing that track, so Britain can go its own way and forge other trade pacts free of EU oversight, not least with the United States.

However, House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi gave short shrift to any hopes of Congress ratifying a future trade deal if Britain ploughs ahead with the new Brexit bill.

In a statement, she said London must respect the EU treaty’s Northern Ireland Protocol, which envisages borderless trade with EU member Ireland as a way of upholding the 1998 peace pact.

“If the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress,” Pelosi warned.

“The Good Friday Agreement is treasured by the American people and will be proudly defended in the United States Congress.”

– See you in court –

More immediately, the EU’s executive commission circulated a paper setting out legal options against London including recourse to the European Court of Justice — the supreme arbiter of EU law which Brexit, ironically, is meant to escape.

“A breach of the obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement would open the way to the legal remedies,” a draft prepared by EU ambassadors and seen by AFP said.

EU diplomats said that to avoid that, and the possibility of hefty fines against Britain, much hinged on the Sefcovic-Gove committee finding a way out.

Johnson spoke by phone on Wednesday evening with his Irish counterpart, Micheal Martin, who was left unimpressed by British assurances that the internal market bill is aimed in fact at preserving peace in Northern Ireland.

“I pointed out very strongly to him that this was very unsettling for Northern Ireland, that it was dragging Northern Ireland back into the centre stage,” Martin told RTE radio, warning also that Johnson had eroded trust with the EU.

AFP

Nancy Pelosi Endorses Joe Biden For US Presidency

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly news conference during the novel coronavirus pandemic at the U.S. Capitol April 24, 2020, in Washington, DC./AFP

 

 

Nancy Pelosi has endorsed Joe Biden for US president in a video statement released Monday.

“Today I am proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States because he will be an extraordinary president,” the speaker of the House of Representatives said in the pre-recorded message.

Pelosi was the last leading Democrat to endorse formally Biden’s run for the White House against Republican Donald Trump in November.

READ ALSO: Boris Johnson Makes First Appearance After COVID-19 Battle

Biden, who served as vice president under former President Barack Obama, had already emerged as the Democrats’ presumptive nominee after decisive primary victories in a string of primaries before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the country.

His main rivals, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, have dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden as has Obama.

In her statement, Pelosi lauded the former senator from Delaware as a man of “empathy, grace and courage” and “a leader with the humility to seek expertise in science and the confidence to act on it.”

“As we face coronavirus Joe Biden has been a voice of reason and resilience with a clear path to lead us out of this crisis,” she said.

US Killing Of Iran General Risks ‘Dangerous Escalation’ – Pelosi

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi/AFP

 

The killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in an American air strike risks provoking a “dangerous escalation of violence”, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday.

“America — and the world — cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return,” she added in a statement.

AFP

US House Speaker Pelosi Orders Articles Of Impeachment Against Trump

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Speaker’s Balcony in the U.S.  Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday told congressional leaders to draw up articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, saying his abuse of power for political benefit “leaves us no choice but to act.”

“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment,” the top congressional Democrat said in a short, somber televised statement, referring to House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler.

Trump “has engaged in abuse of power, undermined our national security and jeopardized the integrity of our elections,” she said, adding that “the president leaves us no choice but to act.”

AFP

US House Formalises Trump Impeachment Process In Landmark Vote

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presides over the US House of Representatives as it votes on a resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry centered on US President Donald Trump, in the House Chamber October 31, 2019 in Washington, DC.  Win McNamee / POOL / AFP

 

Congress formally opened a new, public phase of its presidential investigation on Thursday as US lawmakers voted for the first time to advance the impeachment process against Donald Trump.

“Today, the House takes the next step forward as we establish the procedures for open hearings conducted by the House Intelligence Committee so that the public can see the facts for themselves,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said shortly before the vote.

The chamber voted largely along party lines, 232 to 196, to formalize the process, which also provides for opportunities for Trump’s counsel to cross-examine witnesses.

Trump Calls Pelosi ‘Third-Rate Politician’ In Syria Meeting

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi looks on during a media briefing after meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC on October 16, 2019. AFP

 

US President Donald Trump attacked his top congressional rival, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as a “third-rate politician” during a fractious meeting on Syria policy, Democrats said.

“He was insulting, particularly to the Speaker…. He called her a third-rate politician,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Pelosi at his side, after they stormed out of the White House meeting on Trump’s controversial troop pullout from northern Syria.

Pelosi said Trump appeared “very shaken up” by an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the House earlier Wednesday condemning his Syria move, and that the president had “a meltdown” during the meeting with lawmakers.

AFP

Democrats Accuse White House Of ‘Cover Up’ Over Ukraine Call

ouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on September 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. Speaker Pelosi discussed an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP

 

Top Democrats accused the White House on Thursday of engaging in a “cover up” by trying to suppress a record of a phone call in which President Donald Trump urged the leader of Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden.

“This is a cover up,” Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, told reporters, as she laid out part of her case for impeaching the president for abuse of power.

A whistleblower alleged White House lawyers ordered the record of the call be moved to a separate restricted electronic system, which Pelosi said “the White House used to hide information of a political nature.”

Pelosi alleged the move was an attempt by the White House to “hide information of a political nature.”

There was no immediate reaction from Biden, the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, to the release of the whistleblower’s complaint but other Democratic candidates accused the White House of a “cover up.”

“Donald Trump solicited foreign interference in our elections from the Oval Office,” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said on Twitter.

“He attempted to cover up his actions. And his appointees intervened, against the law, to attempt to suppress this whistleblower complaint.”

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said the whistleblower complaint “is only the tip of an iceberg of corrupt, illegal and immoral behavior by this president.”

“What the House must do is thoroughly investigate Trump’s cover-up of this call and his other attempts to use government resources to help his re-election campaign,” Sanders said in a statement.

Julian Castro, another 2020 Democratic candidate, also accused the White House of a cover up.

“The #WhistleblowerComplaint has exposed a criminal effort to extort political dirtywork from a foreign government, and a massive cover-up orchestrated by the White House,” Castro said.

During the call, Trump repeatedly asked Zelensky to conduct an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Revelations about the call prompted the House of Representatives to launch an impeachment inquiry seeking to remove the president for abuse of power.

In the complaint, the whistleblower said some White House officials were “deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call” because of the likelihood “they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain.”

The whistleblower alleged that senior White House officials had “intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call,” including the transcript, which was released by the White House on Wednesday.

“White House officials told me that they were ‘directed’ by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored,” the complaint says.

“Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature,” it adds.

AFP