Nancy Pelosi

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Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. A Democrat, she is the first woman to hold the post of Speaker, or even lead a major political party in either house of Congress. She has represented the 8th District of California in the United States House of Representatives since 1987. (map)

Contents

Record and controversies

Progressive image

Pelosi was a member of the Progressive Caucus until she became the party leader, when she adopted a policy of not belonging to any caucuses.[1]

Position on Iraq

Like most House Democrats, Pelosi opposed the resolution authorizing Bush to use military force against Iraq and has been a strong critic of the war effort since then, nevertheless she has rejected efforts to impeach the president or to stop funding for the war.

Views on Israel

Pelosi addressed the 2005 Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In her speech she said that the root of the Israel-Palestine conflict is the right of Israel to exist, not the occupation of Palestine, and pledged the protection of the U.S.:

There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. This is absolute nonsense. In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been: it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist... The United States will stand with Israel now and forever. Now and forever.[2]

In July 2006, she threatened to boycott the speech by the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki to the joint session of congress unless he repudiated his earlier criticism of Israeli aggression against Lebanon.[3]

Beginning August 8, 1991, Nancy Pelosi went on a tour of Israel as part of an Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith congressional mission. The other congressmen on the tour were: Leon Panetta, George Miller and Charles Schumer.

Pelosi has strong ties to a number of Jewish groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee whose former president Amy Friedkin is her close friend.[4]

Impeachment of President George W. Bush

In statements she made to the Washington Post in early 2006, then-House Minority Leader Pelosi left open the possibility that if Democrats took over the House after the November 2006 elections, their planned investigations into the Bush administration could lead to impeachment. Although impeachment would not be the goal of the investigations, she said, "You never know where it leads to." Since then she has changed her position and stated that the option is "off the table".

Opposes creation of Iraq oversight committee

On January 22, 2007, the House Republican leadership sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi which proposed the creation of a new oversight committee to monitor the progress of President Bush's Iraq plan. The panel would have defined military, political and social benchmarks in which the president would be required to submit a report to the committee every 30 days indicating whether those benchmarks had been achieved. The committee would have also addressed troop withdrawal, which would have required “an interagency assessment on the impact withdrawal would have on our national security and homeland interest,” as well as the effect withdrawal would have had on surrounding countries.The proposal was rejected by Pelosi, as she expressed confidence in the oversight ability of the already established committees. Her spokesman, Drew Hammill, stated that, “Committees in the 110th Congress are already underway on Iraq oversight...She has the upmost confidence in their ability.” [5]

Against an invasion of Iran

In February 2007, at the House Democratic annual retreat, Speaker Pelosi informed her colleagues that "if it appears likely that Bush wants to take the country to war against Iran, the House would take up a bill to deny him the authority to do so."[1]

2007 Iraq war spending bill

On March 29, 2007, Speaker Pelosi urged President Bush to relax with threats of vetoing the House and Senate versions of the Iraq war supplemental bill. The legislation includes benchmarks and a 2008 withdrawal plan. If lawmakers cannot pass a bill with the president’s signature, it will lead to a shutdown of the Pentagon, effectively denying funding to troops in Iraq.[6]

After the first Iraq supplemental spending bill, which included a timetable for troop withdrawal, passed the House in a 218-212 vote in March 2007, Pelosi stated, "proudly, this new Congress voted to bring an end to the war in Iraq." The bill was eventually passed by both chambers and sent to the President who vetoed it as promised.

Following the veto, another attempt was made an an Iraq supplemental spending bill, one that would most likely not include a troop withdrawal timetable. On May 22, 2007, after numerous attempts at including timetables in an Iraq supplemental spending bill, Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate announced that they would each introduce supplemental spending bills which would not include timetables for combat withdrawal. When the final bill, which provided funds for the Iraq War through September 2007, came to a vote, it passed 280-142, with most Democrats,including Pelosi, opposing it.

Sudan

On May 29, 2007, Pelosi applauded a decision by President Bush to tighten sanctions against the government of Sudan. Bush's plan called for increasing economic and political pressure on Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to end the alleged genocide in the country's Darfur region.[7]

Network neutrality legislation

When Rep. Joe Barton and Sen. Ted Stevens pushed anti-network neutrality legislation in 2006, Pelosi came out in favor of neutrality, angering telecom companies and some fellow Democrats by urging her caucus to fall in line behind her. Roll Call also quoted "insiders" as saying that the damage telecom companies deal to Democrats in retaliation was low because they had already maxed out their campaign contributions to the legal limits until after the 2006 election.[8]Network neutrality has been called the "first amendment of the Internet" by the SavetheInternet.com Coalition.

PAC Fined

In 2004 a political action committee (PAC), Team Majority, controlled by Pelosi was fined $21,000 for "for improperly accepting donations over federal limits, according to records and interviews." Pelosi used two PACs, including Team Majority, to raise money for her colleagues during the 2002 election. The fine came from Pelosi's use of multiple PACs to exceed donation limits to other members campaign committees. Two Democratic lawmakers, Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Julie Thomas (D-Md.), paid fines of $2,500 each for receiving illegal contributions from Pelosi's PAC. Team Majority ceased operating before the fine was issued.[9]

Earmarks and "pork"

In February of 2003 the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Pelosi had sought a $1 million earmark for an advisor and former campaign treasurer's think tank:

Pelosi's office confirmed Thursday that the San Francisco Democrat, who was elected House minority leader in November, obtained the $1 million for the USF center, without requiring [her longtime adviser and campaign treasurer, former Lt. Gov. Leo T.] McCarthy and USF to go through the normal application process for such grants. But Pelosi said the program got the money on its merits, not because of any political ties to the congresswoman.[10]

A 2005 Washington Times report alleges that Pelosi helped a campaign donor secure funds from a federal agency days after one of her staff members returned from a fact-finding trip to Spain that was funded by the donor.[11]

Pelosi and her office denied any connection between the trip and the money sought by WestStart-CALSTART. Pelosi's spokeswoman stated that Republican staffers also went on the trip to Spain.

Transparency

Nancy Pelosi's official website was rated by citizen researchers in February 2007 as part of a survey by the Sunlight Foundation. The survey evaluated members' sites on whether they provided basic information on their legislative activities, post their legally required disclosures such as on personal finances and travel, and any other information that furthers transparency. Nancy Pelosi's site received a 32 (out of 100). A score of 40 was considered passing. Full results.

Biography

Pelosi was born March 26, 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her father, Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr., was a U.S. Congressman from Maryland and also a Mayor of Baltimore, the latter office having been held also by her brother Thomas L. J. D'Alesandro III in the late 1960s.

Affiliations

Contact

DC Office:
2371 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0508
Phone: 202-225-4965
Fax: 202-225-8259
Email: sf.nancy AT mail.house.gov
Web Email
Website

District Office - San Francisco:
450 Golden Gate Avenue, 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102-3460
Phone: 415-556-4862
Fax: 415-861-1670

Articles and resources

Sources

External resources

Pelosi's Websites

Notes

  1. Michael Abramowitz and Paul Kane. "At Democrats' Meeting, Bush Appeals for Cooperation," Washington Post. February 4, 2007.
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