'It is Wrong for a Committee Chair to Call the Police to Evict Democratic
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi introduced a resolution
today to condemn the abuse of power by the Republican Chairman of
the House Ways and Means Committee in calling the Capitol Police
this morning to evict committee Democrats from their own committee
library. The House voted along party lines to table the resolution.
Below are Pelosi's closing remarks from the debate on the House
floor this afternoon.
"My colleagues, it is clear from the debate today that the
Republicans have a major problem with the democratic process. It
is clear that the Republicans are in denial about their behavior,
and it is clear that the Democrats must draw a line in the sand
on the repression of our rights in this Congress. My resolution
does just that.
to the Republican majority that our constituents have a right to
be heard. Every day, that right is abused, but, today, the Republicans
went over the edge.
are these my colleagues: the police came to the library behind the
Ways and Means Committee while the bill was still being read. There
is no confusion as to why the police went to the library. And the
police did not go to the library once or twice, they went to the
library three times to evict the Democratic members.
came the policemen, and then came their superior, and then came
the representative of the Sergeant at Arms office to clear the room,
to evict the members from that room. And thats why, if there
is any challenge to these facts, we can take up this discussion
under oath under the auspices of the Ethics Committee.
insist on this House supporting the resolution that it is wrong
for the Chair to conduct this committee meeting and have part of
that be to call the police. And we must insist that the markup that
took place is not validly ordered and recorded to the House.
is no confusion. The question before the House is this: is it right
for the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee to call the police
to evict Democratic Members from their meeting place? Again, the
police came not once, not twice, but three times.
for my resolution is a vote to reject that kind of behavior. It
is wrong for the committee Chair to call the police and my Republican
colleagues just dont know that. And the country should know
that about them. Why isnt it clear to you that it isnt
right to call the police to evict your colleagues from a room?
should be a stunning fact to the American people is that the Republicans
in the House of Representatives need to be convinced that it is
wrong to call the police to evict the Democratic colleagues from
their meeting. I say that over and over again.
about the power of ideas. We heard the brilliant speech yesterday
by the Prime Minister of Great Britain talking about liberty and
the pride we should take, and our contribution to it throughout
the world, and about the power of ideas. But the power of our example
speaks louder than all of that. And what is the example that we
show to the rest of the world when we have the Chairman of the committee
calling the police to evict his colleagues from a room?
had a word for it -- hubris -- and it was about power, abusive power,
arrogance. And it is a tragic flaw. We cannot allow your tragic
flaw to shut down the voices of the American people. We will fight
you every step of the way, every day, in this House of Representatives.
to thank my Democratic colleagues for staying, for your thoughtful
presentations during this difficult debate, and for your love of
this institution. And I urge my colleagues to support this very
important resolution, important to the integrity of this House of