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

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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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Read more articles by Robert B. Charles

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Eve E.

Nasty Pelosi is a disgrace. She’s terrified of the truth (state of the union). She’s totally psychotic. She represents the enemy within (our country) which is Liberalism. To cancel our state of the union to cater to those the Trump Derangement Syndrome inflicted left is criminal, corrupt & incompetent. SHE SHOULD BE REMOVED. She’s nuts!

As a USMC combat Veteran, retired police officer AND current federal employee, I’m insulted & disgusted with the Dems ruining the great country I’ve spent my life serving!

PaulE

“Where is the check on Congress, which seems not only against fences, but increasingly unfenced?” The check on Congress is the American voters. Who either decided to stay home and believe the media nonsense that the party in power always loses control of one or both houses of Congress (our side) or were part of the 50 percent of the country that buys into to the socialist nonsense the Democrats are peddling. It really is that simple. That the Democrats would go right back to being diametrically opposed to anything President Trump or the sane and better informed half of the American people want in order to improve our country for all, was a given. They have publicly stated numerous times since Trump was sworn in, that their sole mission is to RESIST everything President Trump wanted to accomplish. So what do any of you think would happen if either… Read more »

The Freezing Senior

What next, you ask ?
Kill more babies, of course.
How much more deranged can the party of baby murders get ?
Stay tuned, you’re about to find out. MAGA#45

William Whitson

AMAC this is why, not only Democrat politicians hate Trump but so do Republican politicians, because they’re afraid he’s going to expose and put a stop to all their frivolous spending on taxpayers dollars.

Jerry Lovell

Nancy Pelosi is a very sick women and the Democratic Party is now a communist party.

Shirley I Farkas

The whole democrat party is a bunch of sick people.. Nancy Pelosi is in it just for the showcase of things not for the people. Just look at her picture sometime and you can tell she’s just in it for being Speaker of the House. Chuck Schumer well he’s another thing…Both of them have been in Washington too long as some of the other ones that are there. I think they should only be allow in so long just like the President. My name for their party is this… Democ–rats.
WE NEED THE WALLL!!!!

Kim

FYI, there are a ‘thousand’ billions in a trillion… It’s no wonder politicians make careers for themselves in public offices. It pays extremely well, the benefits are superb, you can get away with a lot of stuff that taxpayers fund, and attendance is voluntary!! Seriously, pensions should stop. Very few companies in the private sector still offer them, and I don’t want to pay for their lavish lifestyles. It’s time these political entitlements come to an end! Please don’t tell me how many terms they must serve before qualifying for their pensions… Is AOC really worth $174,000/year? Should we pay for her nails and biceps? She must be smiling ALL the time—WHAT LUCK! The spat between President Trump and Pelosi will no doubt grow to ridiculous proportions. I was disappointed that Trump decided to delay the State of the Union Address. Point: Pelosi. But maybe he’s going to exhaust all… Read more »

Thomas Lott

I think that President Trump should have let Nancy Pelosi let her take that flight and then denied her return flight back home forever.

Roger Copy

I’ve observed the decisions that President Trump has made while in office, and to be honest, I have sometimes wondered “What is he thinking?”. Then, as the scenario plays itself out, his intentions become christyl clear. He has an uncanny ability to see around obstacles and retain a clear objective. So, his “giving in” to the dumbatic duo is not cause for great concern……yet. I know that Pelosi and Chuckie are doing a victory dance at as we speak (Nancy with that sick smirk on her face, waving her gavel around like a chicken leg in a homeless shelter, and Chuck looking at her, adoringly, over his reading glasses, wrinkling his forehead as only he can do) , relishing in what they perceive as a big “WE SHOWED HIM!” moment, while all the antifa cowards are planning a block party, along with the crazy ladies in the pink kitty-cat hats… Read more »

Mark Jackson

I think whenever the government shuts down, that Congress and Senate should NOT be paid till a settlement is reached and ALL shut down time NOT REIMBURSED!!!

Bev

As long as there are no term limits we will never begin to see any changes or oversight to this out of control group.

Deena

Pelosi is Jezzabel. She allows the murder of millions of babies. She has sold her soul for power.

Margaret Schoming

I think speaker Nancy Polosi is hiding something larger and looming over the American people and comes from within the U N.
It’s a power struggle between the American people and the bureaucracy that speaker belongs to which is luciferian in every detail.
The American people are about to lose every freedom they have or soon to be a socialist republic like Venezuela with all the war that goes with it.

Wes

I didn’t realize the abuse of taxpayer funds that allows Congress to do the things you’ve listed. It certainly should be more documented and widely known. Washington seems to operate on a different set of rules than the rest of the country and should be held accountable. As for Nancy Pelosi, I can’t understand how a woman who lacks respect for the President and the rest of the country gets the permission to be so insubordinate. I am very concerned about the future of our country will people like her holding the gavel in the House of Representatives and displaying her personal vendetta against President Trump.

Laurie Johnson

All that is ever done is talking about it with no action taken! Something needs to be done! I’m tired of nothing being done to stop the misuse of the taxpayer’s money! Stop the talk & walk the walk.
They need to start doing something about it! What if all citizens stopped paying taxes until the matter was fixed. There are not enough jails to lock us all up for not paying taxes. 🤔

Phyllis

Simply put, Nasty Nancy and many other congress critters are nothing but a bunch of socialist pigs. We need to put term limits on congress. Put them under social security and get rid of the perks. We need to get them under control.

ChuckW

The Government is back open the speech should be back on and The President should roast the democracts

D V A

Continue the “open border” syndrome and allow the illegals to take up residence in “sanctuary cities” which creates votes for the liberals, thus pushing the fly over states to have to live under liberalism. Every 770,000 new people creates a new representative to Congress, so soon the states with the most “sanctuary cities” will control the nation if we do not curtail “open borders” . Tell your representatives to FUND border
security, as the President wishes.

CJM

Thank you for insightful message. I enjoy and look forward to this information.

addy ducey

Pelosi is even more ruthless than Cuomo. Hats off to Mr. Pelosi.