House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she is trying to get in touch with Rep. Ilhan Omar to discuss her latest attention-getting tweet about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that has drawn new backlash to the freshman Minnesota Democrat.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with her,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday when asked about Omar’s tweet, which has attracted strong criticism. “We tried to reach her, she was in transit.”
Pelosi said she wants to speak to Omar about her tweet questioning then-President George W. Bush’s New York City address to rescue workers at Ground Zero, days after the worst terror attack in American history, in which he declared “The people who knocked down there towers will hear all of us soon.”
Omar tweeted “Was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack? What if he was a Muslim,” under the Bush quote delivered at Ground Zero.
The tweet quickly drew criticism and came just a day after Omar was the subject of a New York Post cover depicting the flaming twin towers and the lawmaker’s comments before a Muslim advocacy group that “some people did something,” on Sept. 11, 2001. The commentwas widely seen as downplaying the significant and horror of a tragedy that claimed nearly 3,000 lives. Omar claimed in the aftermoth of 9/11 Muslim civil liberties had suffered.
Pelosi has yet to comment on Omar’s recent comments and tweets, but plans to respond at some point, she said.
“As is my custom with my colleagues, I call them in before I call them out,” Pelosi said. “I’ll have some comment after I do speak to her.”
A top House Democrat said Friday the White House’s reported plan to get back at Democrats by transporting all released asylum seekers into sanctuary cities is proof the Trump administration’s approach to immigration policy is political and not about national security.
“The fact that this idea was even considered — not once but twice — serves as a reminder that the Trump Administration’s reckless immigration agenda is not about keeping the country safe, but about partisan politics and wantonly inflicting cruelty,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said in a statement.
Thompson said the administration’s various immigration policy reforms “are all terrible.” The White House has introduced a travel ban of citizens from select countries primarily in the Middle East, and a “zero tolerance” initiative that led to families being separated at the border, and others.
“If the Administration wants to send a message to Democrats, let us send this message to the President: if your immigration policies are not fixing the problem but only cause chaos and focus on keeping people out, they will always fail. Playing politics with the country’s homeland security has been a mainstay of the Trump Administration since day one. The American people want it to end,” he said.
A Thursday report said White House officials asked officials at several federal agencies in November to look into turning over families who had illegally entered the country, and were seeking asylum, to be released in small and mid-size cities where local Democratic leaders had refused to cooperate with federal immigration agents.
“Sanctuary cities,” as they referred to, provide safety to immigrants who have committed additional crimes while in the U.S. by not honoring a request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to detain a person for them after his legal proceedings for that crime have concluded.
The Trump administration has railed over the policy, saying it protects suspected and convicted criminals from being handed over to ICE in a safe environment and forces agents to go into the community to find wanted criminals.
Democrats in the New York state Assembly recently voted down a bill that would have allowed hundreds of thousands of dollars in college tuition aid to family members of Gold Star families after passing a measure earlier last week to give $27 million in the same benefits to illegal immigrants.
“We set aside $27 million dollars for college for people that are here illegally … Apparently, $2.7 million is all that the families of soldiers who are killed, get. If you’re a child of a fallen soldier, you do not rank as high and you know that by the money,” said State Sen. Robert Ortt, a Republican from Niagara, on Thursday.
The bill proposed would have expanded a program that currently serves 145 students, who are relatives or dependents of military members served in combat zones. The bill would have expanded the program by allocating more funds for those military families that qualify.
Gov, Andrew Cuomo weighed in Wednesday saying he supported the bill his fellow Democrats blocked in the Assembly in a 15-11 committee vote.
Assemblywoman Debroah Glick, a Democrat from Manhattan, responded to Cuomo’s criticism Friday.
“Wonder of the Gov is aware of the existing program providing up to $24K a year to cover tuition, room & board & ancillary costs for the spouse & children of veterans killed or severely disabled in combat zones,” she said.
Wonder of the Gov is aware of the existing program providing up to $24K a year to cover tuition, room & board & ancillary costs for the spouse & children of veterans killed or severely disabled in combat zones.
— (((Deborah Glick))) (@DeborahJGlick) April 12, 2019
A spokesperson for the Assembly Democrats, Mike Whyland, said the vote led by Republicans was “purely political and it’s unfortunate that they are using children as pawns.”
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang Friday argued for his call to give each American $1,000 a year, and said he disagrees with other Democratic hopefuls who are calling for an end to the Electoral College.
“You have to look up who are going the biggest winners from artificial intelligence and self-driving cars and trucks and new technologies,” Yang, an entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America, told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.“
“Amazon, Google, Facebook and Uber, the American public sees very little in the innovation. Amazon literally paid zero in federal taxes.”
Meanwhile, Amazon fulfillment centers now have “more robots than people,” Yang said.
Show co-host Steve Doocy commented that a universal basic income hasn’t worked in other places, but Yang disagreed.
“You don’t even need to look across the globe,” he said. “All you have to do is look at Alaska which has had a petroleum dividend for almost 40 years and its wildly popular. It has created thousands of jobs.”
Yang also discussed calls to eliminate the Electoral College, saying he doesn’t even know why that is being discussed.
“It has been part of our laws for decades,” he said. “It would require a constitutional amendment to change the Electoral College…do we want candidates just campaigning in major media markets and big cities? The constitutional framers were very wise. I will say as a Democrat it’s very, very bad form to look like you are changing the rules when you have been losing by rules that everyone agreed on for decades.”