‘Talk Is Cheap’: Progressives Demand Pelosi Cancel Recess and Vote on Trump Impeachment as Soon as Possible
“We need to see her words backed up with action. Every day that Trump is president is another day our democracy is broken.”
By Jake Johnson
Demanding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi back up her announcement of an official impeachment inquiry with decisive action, progressives Tuesday night called on the Democratic leader to cancel the chamber’s two-week October recess and move forward with the proceedings against President Donald Trump as quickly as possible.
“We’re glad Speaker Pelosi finally said out loud what a majority of the Democratic Caucus and constituents have been saying for months: Donald Trump has betrayed his oath of office, betrayed our national security, and betrayed the integrity of our elections,” Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of progressive advocacy group Indivisible, said in a statement.
“Now, we need to see her words backed up with action: cancel recess, and get to a vote on articles of impeachment as soon as humanly possible,” the group added. “Every day that Trump is president is another day our democracy is broken and our national security is at risk. The activists who built the blue wave and put Democrats in charge expect them to do the right thing, and lead.”
Pelosi’s announcement of an official impeachment inquiry came after more than a dozen House Democrats voiced support for impeachment in less than 24 hours. The flood of statements and tweets in favor of impeachment proceedings followed a report that Trump ordered hold on military aid to Ukraine just days before pressuring that country’s leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to a Politico tally updated Tuesday night, 207 House Democrats have publicly backed impeachment.
Keep up the pressure! Call your members of Congress tomorrow! https://t.co/kKLiOd7oJc
— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) September 25, 2019
While Pelosi’s public support for an impeachment inquiry marked a significant shift, progressives warned the Speaker could attempt to kill the momentum behind impeachment by allowing a drawn-out process that doesn’t produce anything of substance.
Ezra Levin, co-executive director of Indivisible, outlined what Pelosi will do if she “wants to squash impeachment”:
- Issue a statement that *sounds* strong;
- Create a special committee to take away authority from Judiciary;
- Allow the House to go into recess;
- Hope the news cycle moves on.
“Talk is cheap,” said Levin. “Pay attention to her actions.”
Shortly following Pelosi’s announcement, the New York Times reported that the White House is planning to release to Congress before the end of the week a “redacted version” of the whistleblower complaint against Trump that helped break the impeachment dam.
The White House previously advised Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to withhold the complaint from lawmakers, a move Democrats condemned as a clear violation of the law.
Lawmakers have demanded that the Trump administration release nothing less than the full whistleblower complaint.
“Congress needs the whistleblower complaint—as required by law—that reportedly references you making a still-unknown ‘promise’ to a foreign leader,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). “A promise, according to reports, that the Inspector General found to be alarming and of urgent concern.”licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Progressives to Pelosi as Trump Lawlessness Mounts: ‘Stop Playing Craven Political Games’ and Impeach
“At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior—it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it.”
By Jake Johnson
Pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to drop her longstanding opposition to impeachment has reached new heights following reports that President Donald Trump asked Ukraine’s leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a move that appears to be at the heart of an urgent whistleblower complaint Trump’s intelligence chief is refusing to turn over to Congress.
Progressive groups and members of Pelosi’s House Democratic caucus have aired their frustrations with the Speaker in public in since the new reports of Trump’s latest potential crime, which adds to a mountainous list of transgressions that impeachment supporters say is more than enough to remove the president from office.
“Pelosi must stop playing craven political games and lead now. It’s past time for her to throw her full support behind moving forward with impeachment proceedings.”
—Heidi Hess, Credo Action
“At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior—it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted late Saturday. “It is one thing for a sitting president to break the law. It’s another to let him.”
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Trump confirmed that he discussed Biden and his son Hunter with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky but denied there was any quid pro quo.
Pelosi, in the wake of initial reports on Trump’s request to the Ukrainian leader, condemned the White House for “stonewalling” Congress as it seeks to investigate the whistleblower complaint, which was reportedly filed by an intelligence official in response to the president’s alarming misconduct.
Heidi Hess, co-director of Credo Action, said in a statement that “it’s awfully bold of Speaker Pelosi to call out stonewalling tactics when she herself has stonewalled impeachment efforts for the past eight months.”
“Donald Trump has committed numerous impeachable offenses and threatens our communities, our democracy, and our planet on a daily basis,” said Hess. “Pelosi must stop playing craven political games and lead now. It’s past time for her to throw her full support behind moving forward with impeachment proceedings. Doing anything less further cements her legacy as the Speaker of the House who refused to do her constitutional duty and was complicit in Trump’s crimes and his bigotry.”
In a Dear Colleague letter sent to Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Sunday, Pelosi warned that Trump would enter a “grave new chapter of lawlessness” if he refuses to disclose the whistleblower complaint to Congress. While Pelosi hinted at the possibility of a “whole new stage of investigation,” she did not mention impeachment.
A majority of the House Democratic caucus supported impeachment proceedings against the president prior to the Ukraine revelations. While the House Judiciary Committee is holding what some Democrats have characterized as impeachment hearings, progressives say the panel’s inquiry is not nearly enough.
As the Washington Post reported Sunday, tensions among House Democrats are beginning to boil over as they worry their investigations into the president are completely meaningless without the possibility of impeachment.
Two anonymous White House officials told the Post that the Trump administration is not worried about “defying or mocking” the Judiciary Committee “because Pelosi has made it clear she is not interested in impeachment.”
“We back off of everything! We’ve been very weak,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told the Post.
To build outside pressure on Pelosi and other Democratic opponents of impeachment, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) circulated a petition over the weekend denouncing the House Speaker’s refusal to act in the face of Trump’s illegal behavior.
“In an interview with NPR, Nancy Pelosi reiterated yet against that she will not impeach Trump. This is unacceptable, and everyone is saying so,” said PCCC. “Together, we must send a resounding message that the American people are ready and demand impeachment proceedings begin now.”licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.
‘An Obligation to Make Radical Change’: At Youth Climate Summit, Young Leaders Say Merely Listening to Science Is Not Enough
“Stop asking world leaders to just listen to science and demand they act on science.”
By Julia Conley
At the first-ever Youth Climate Action Summit at the U.N. headquarters in New York on Saturday, climate leader Greta Thunberg was joined by more than 600 young activists who were able to appeal directly to the U.N. secretary-general a day after helping to galvanize an estimated total of four million people at the Global Climate Strike—and the campaigners in attendance did not mince words.
Thunberg addressed the gathering briefly, noting that she will be speaking to world leaders at the larger U.N. Climate Action Summit on Monday.
“Yesterday millions of people across the globe marched and demanded real climate action, especially young people,” Thunberg said. “We showed that we are united and that we young people are unstoppable.”
"We showed that we are united."
At the @UN Youth #ClimateAction Summit, @GretaThunberg highlighted the power of young people who took to the streets yesterday and who are raising their voices today for big, bold climate action.#Youth2030 #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/5Gig9SkO5P
— UN Foundation (@unfoundation) September 21, 2019
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres thanked Thunberg and other young climate leaders from countries including Argentina, Kenya, and Fiji for helping to push for a prompt drawdown of fossil fuel emissions and investments by world governments in renewable energy.
The climate justice movement that Thunberg has helped to build in the past year has successfully convinced a number of national and local governments to declare a climate emergency and secured a commitment from the European Commission in February to dedicate a quarter of its spending to combating the climate crisis.
“You have started this movement,” Guterres said. “I encourage you to keep your initiative, keep your mobilization, and more and more to hold my generation accountable.”
The secretary-general added that his “generation has largely failed until now to preserve both justice in the world and to preserve the planet.”
Some of the young advocates in attendance weren’t convinced that Guterres’s generation is much more committed to solving the climate crisis than it was before Thunberg captured the world’s attention with the first climate strike—organized and attended solely by her in Sweden last year.
“Dear world leaders, I ask you,” said one young activist. “What is the purpose of having this summit if two days from now you are letting fossil fuel corporations and CEOs of corporations take the stage along with member nations and allowing them to influence climate policy when they are the ones that created this crisis?”
“You claim you want to listen to youth solutions but this feels more like a photo op,” she added.
Oil and gas executives will be holding a forum at the summit, inviting “stakeholders from across industry, academia, government, and non-profits,” according to organizers, who represent British Petroleum and other corporations.
The watchdog group Corporate Accountability accused the U.N. of offering “an opportunity for some of the world’s biggest polluters to greenwash” while governments remain reticent to pass laws requiring the elimination of planet-warming carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest, to avoid global warming over 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
After speaking, the young leader led other attendees in singing, “Leaders of the world, kick the oil men out, ’cause we’ve got to right to kill our future now.”
‘You claim you want to listen to youth solutions, but this feels more like a photo op.’ — This activist led a chant calling out world leaders for continuing to work with the fossil fuel industry at the UN Youth Climate Summit
Stay tuned for more of our climate week coverage pic.twitter.com/5h8aVPMBcF
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 22, 2019
Bruno Rodriguez, an activist from Argentina, asked Guterres directly to “stop asking world leaders to just listen to science and demand they act on science.”
“Enough is enough. We don’t want fossil fuels anymore,” Rodriguez said. “The science is clear; our world leaders have an obligation to make radical change.”
Argentina Climate Activist Bruno Rodriguez speaks at UN Youth Climate Summit: "We are facing an existential emergency & our world leaders have the obligation to make radical change but change rarely takes place from the top down. It happens when millions of people demand change." pic.twitter.com/ddZdzEUfNt
— The Hill (@thehill) September 21, 2019
Komal Kumar, representing Fiji, said that young people and families in frontline communities are “living in constant fear and climate anxiety.”
“We demand action. Stop wasting time,” Kumar said. “Engage young people in the design of adaptation plans.”
“We will hold you accountable,” she added. “And if you do not remember, we will mobilize to vote you out.”licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.