Once an activist, always an activist. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is about to take her seat on Congress, showed up for a global warming protest outside Nancy Pelosi’s office. The New York City rep-elect, who bills herself as a Democratic Socialist, joined the sit-down protest calling for more action on climate change, offering words of encouragement and high fives to the throng of lefties. She insisted that there are precious few years left to implement a “Green New Deal” before it’s too late to save the planet from a future of hell, fire, and brimstone.
—QUOTABLE: “I just want to let you all know how proud I am of each and every single one of you for putting yourselves and your bodies and everything on the line to make sure that we save our planet, our generation, and our future.” -Ocasio-Cortez to the protesters
Top Democrats pressed the Department of Justice ethics czar on Monday to disclose whether he’s advised Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself from the Russia probe. Whitaker, the acting attorney general who took over after President Trump forced Jeff Sessions out last week, is under intense pressure from the Democrats to wash his hands of all things related to Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Dems claim that Whitaker’s comments critical of the probe before he started working at the DOJ are disqualifying.
—QUOTABLE: “[W]e request that you immediately notify us in writing regarding whether you, or any other ethics officials at the Justice Department, have advised Mr. Whitaker to recuse from supervision of the special counsel investigation, and the basis for that recommendation.” -Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in a letter to Lee J. Lofthus, DOJ ethics officer
Democrats are dialing up their push to force acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself from anything to do with the Mueller probe. Whitaker took over after President Trump effectively fired Jeff Sessions last week, but Dems claim his comments critical of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation disqualify him from having any oversight over the 18-month probe into alleged Russian collusion during the 2016 election. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and other leading Democrats insisted that past statements as chair of a conservative nonprofit, before his time at the Department of Justice, require Whitaker’s immediate recusal.
—QUOTABLE: “There are serious ethical considerations that require Mr. Whitaker’s immediate recusal from any involvement with the Special Counsel investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.” -Pelosi, Schumer et al letter
House Republicans are bracing for an ugly internal battle now that they lost the majority. While Democrat Nancy Pelosi is confident she will take her throne as Speaker without drama, the battle for minority leader—the leader of the House GOP caucus, is shaping up to be more of a mess. Already, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California plan to run for the spot. McCarthy was Paul Ryan’s top lieutenant and is thought to be in the best position, but Jordan’s stock has risen among conservatives as co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus.
—MEANWHILE, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming announced she plans to run for House Republican Conference Chair, challenging Washington Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers, creating even more discord in the new minority caucus leadership elections.
President Trump has endorsed Nancy Pelosi to be the next Speaker of the House. In a tweet on Wednesday, Trump said Pelosi deserves to be chosen as the next speaker and even offered to help her get her old job back with some Republican votes to get her across the finish line, if needed. Trump congratulated Pelosi on Tuesday night after it became clear her party would win back control of the House.
—QUOTABLE: “In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats…If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!” -Trump tweet
Nancy Pelosi agrees with Hillary Clinton: there can be no civility until the Democrats regain political power. The wannabe next House Speaker told late night host Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night that, “when we win, you will see evidence” of more civil political discourse from her side. Colbert had asked whether Pelosi has seen any evidence that Democrats are taking the advice of many to lower the temperature of the political discourse coming from her political allies.
—QUOTABLE: “There has been a lot of talk lately about lowering the temperature of political discourse…Have you seen evidence of that?” -Colbert
—QUOTABLE: “Well, I think when we win, you will see evidence of that. Because when we do win, we will have, as we open the new Congress, we will honor the vows of our founders, E pluribus unum, from many one…It’s OK to disagree in the marketplace of ideas, that’s exciting, but it is also important to find solutions that unify and not divide.” -Pelosi
If Democrats take power, Americans will just have to deal with the consequences. That was the admission of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a New York Times event over the weekend when she was asked how the American people should regard the economic fallout from liberal policies should her party take power. If there’s economic “collateral damage” from leftist climate change policies, “so be it,” she said. The comments come against the backdrop of a 49-year low unemployment rate of 3.7 percent.
—QUOTABLE: “We owe the American people to be there for them, for their financial security, respecting the dignity and worth of every person in our country, and if there is some collateral damage for some others who do not share our view, well, so be it, but it shouldn’t be our original purpose.” -Pelosi