House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clashed with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer over why Democrats haven’t accepted the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion stimulus offer



a close up of a person wearing a costume: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference to mark the anniversary of the House passage of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote, on Capitol Hill May 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images


© Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference to mark the anniversary of the House passage of the 19th Amendment and women’s right to vote, on Capitol Hill May 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got into a heated argument with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday as the host grilled her on the ongoing negotiations on a second COVID-19 relief package.
  • A second coronavirus relief bill has been stalled in Congress as the Senate and House failed to come to a consensus on the details of the proposal.
  • “Madame Speaker, I’m asking you this because so many people are in desperate need right now,” Blitzer said and asked why Pelosi had not yet reached out to President Donald Trump personally to negotiate.
  • “What makes me amused, if it weren’t so sad, is how you all think that you know the suffering of the American people [more] than those of us who are elected by them to represent them at that table,” Pelosi responded.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clashed with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Tuesday over continued delays in approving another coronavirus stimulus package.

Pelosi appeared on CNN Tuesday, where Blitzer grilled the House Speaker on why Democrats haven’t accepted the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion stimulus offer.

A coronavirus relief bill has been stalled in Congress as the Senate and House failed to come to a consensus on the details of the proposal.

Pelosi has been in talks with the White House and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to negotiate a middle ground between House Democrats and the administration, but the conversations over several weeks have so far not produced a bipartisan package.

Blitzer cited criticism from Rep. Ro Khanna and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, with whom the CNN host spoke to on Monday regarding the bill.

“The only thing that’s keeping us from passing it is politics,” Yang said in response to the relief bill delays, encouraging Pelosi to say “yes” to the negotiations.

“Honest to God, I can’t get over it, because Andrew Yang, he’s lovely; Ro Khanna, he’s lovely,” Pelosi replied. “But they have no idea of the particulars. They have no idea of what the language is here.”

“Madame Speaker, I’m asking you this because so many people are in desperate need right now,” Blitzer said and then asked why Pelosi had not yet reached out to President Donald Trump personally to negotiate and provide relief from the fallout of the pandemic sooner.

“What makes me amused, if it weren’t so sad, is how you all think that you know the suffering of the American people [more] than those of us who are elected by them to represent them at that table,” Pelosi responded to the question.

“It is unfortunate that we don’t have shared values with this White House and … that we have to fight with them

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Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf Defies House Subpoena to Testify Before Congress | National News

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf did not show up to testify in front of a House committee Thursday, defying a subpoena lawmakers issued last week compelling him to appear.

Wolf skipped Thursday’s House Homeland Security Committee hearing on threats to national security, an anticipated move that punctuated days of back-and-forth between committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, and the Department of Homeland Security over Wolf’s appearance.

President Donald Trump in late August announced his intention to nominate Wolf, who has served as the acting DHS secretary for 10 months, to the permanent secretary position, and formally did so on Sept. 10. DHS last week told the House Homeland Security Committee that Wolf would be unavailable to testify as previously scheduled because it would be “contrary to standard practice” for a nominee to testify while his nomination was pending. Thompson then issued a subpoena for Wolf to appear Thursday.

Wolf was supposed to appear alongside FBI Director Christopher Wray, who did testify before the committee.

DHS, which called the subpoena “brazenly partisan,” says officials offered to instead send the department’s No. 2, Ken Cuccinelli, to testify at the hearing.

Thompson criticized Wolf’s decision not to appear Thursday during his opening statement at the hearing, noting that there is no legal prohibition barring Wolf from testifying.

“Mr. Wolf has run the Department of Homeland Security for the last 10 months and has been responsible for numerous decisions directly relevant to the subjects the Committee intends to explore,” Thompson said. “Regrettably, he has chosen to defy the subpoena. That he would refuse to come before the committee after committing to do so should appall every member of this committee. Insisting Mr. Wolf keeps his commitment to testifying before Congress isn’t playing politics – it’s doing our job.”

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Thompson also noted that Wolf has made numerous media appearances since his nomination to the permanent secretary position, “including no fewer than four appearances on Fox News.”

During the hearing, Cuccinelli and the committee got into a spat on Twitter about the matter.

The brouhaha comes amid increased scrutiny of Wolf’s position and actions. Last week, an explosive whistleblower report alleged that Wolf and Cuccinelli pressured analysts to alter reports on Russian election interference, downplay the threat of violent white supremacists and make other changes to intelligence reports.

In August, the agency that serves as Congress’ independent investigative watchdog concluded that both Wolf and Cuccinelli were ineligible for their current positions – a finding DHS has dismissed as incorrect.

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Bennie Thompson subpoenas Chad Wolf

House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie G. Thompson issued a subpoena Friday to try to compel acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to testify at a hearing next week, setting up a major clash of two branches of government.

Mr. Thompson has called a hearing on terrorist threats and has the FBI chief and the leader of the National Counterterrorism Center slated to testify. He has also demanded Mr. Wolf appear, but the acting secretary said he wouldn’t, citing his recent nomination to the secretary’s post.

Homeland Security says it’s tradition for someone who’s facing Senate confirmation not to testify.

Mr. Thompson said the times are so uncertain that the acting secretary must appear, and he accused Mr. Wolf of “evading” the hearing.

“From the coronavirus pandemic to the rise of right-wing extremism to ongoing election interference, there are urgent threats requiring our attention,” the Mississippi Democrat said.

The subpoena, issued 19 years to the day after the terrorist attacks that spurred creation of the department, pits tradition and courtesy against Democrats’ demands for answers.

They are eager to try to pin Mr. Wolf down on a series of matters, including ongoing immigration matters, a new whistleblower complaint that accuses him and other top department officials of shaping intelligence reports to benefit President Trump, and Homeland Security’s response to riots in Portland, Oregon.

Republicans complained that Mr. Thompson had previously promised not to issue unilateral subpoenas.

Rep. Mike Rogers, the ranking Republican, said the committee could have heard from Ken Cuccinelli, the No. 2 man at the department.

Instead, he said, Mr. Thompson is picking a procedural fight.

“We need to get our priorities straight,” Mr. Rogers said. “It’s of the utmost importance to hear from the Department on the threats facing our nation.”

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House chairman subpoenas DHS acting secretary Wolf for Sept. 17 hearing

Spivey emphasized that DHS had been willing to make Wolf’s deputy Ken Cuccinelli available to testify, which she said should have been sufficient since he’s fully versed in the same subjects as Wolf.

Thompson said in a statement that Wolf’s refusal to testify at the panel’s annual “worldwide threats” hearing was an abdication at a critical time.

“The Committee has not only the authority, but also an obligation to execute its Constitutional oversight responsibilities regarding Mr. Wolf’s decisions and the Department’s actions in securing the homeland,” Thompson said.

The subpoena is the culmination of a series of exchanges between Thompson and DHS that began in June. He said earlier efforts to schedule the hearing in June and July were unworkable for other agencies intending to participate in the hearing, including the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center. Thompson said that DHS indicated Wolf would be available on Sept. 17. Other agencies confirmed their availability for that date as well, Thompson said.

Thompson acknowledged Wolf’s expected nomination as permanent secretary but emphasized that “[s]hould you be nominated, there is no legal prohibition barring you from testifying before the Committee.”

“Moreover, while the relied upon practice may be reasonable in circumstances where the nominee has only served in an ‘acting’ capacity for a short period of time, that is not your situation. The Department has been without a Senate-confirmed Secretary for 17 months,” Thompson added.

In her reply to Thompson, Spivey said Cuccinelli is still willing to appear on Sept. 17 if the committee requests it. In her letter to the panel earlier in the week, Spivey said DHS had informed the Senate of Wolf’s unavailability for a worldwide threats hearing as well, given his pending nomination.

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DHS rejects House Democrats’ call for Wolf to testify

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Friday said it was rejecting Democrats’ call for acting agency Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfMicrosoft warns Russia, China and Iran targeting US election Hillicon Valley: Whistleblower alleges top DHS officials sought to alter intelligence products to fit Trump’s comments | House panel details ‘serious’ concerns around elections in four states | Irish agency investigates Facebook’s EU-US data transfer Former DHS chiefs call for stepped-up response to election threats MORE to appear before the panel, arguing it’s unprecedented for a nominee to testify during the confirmation process on unrelated matters.

In a letter sent to House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonDemocrats divided over 1998 embassy bombing settlement Russia ‘amplifying’ concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election: report Hillicon Valley: Democrats demand answers over Russian interference bulletin | Google Cloud wins defense contract for cancer research | Cyberattack disrupts virtual classes MORE (D-Miss.) on Friday — which comes in response to Thompson’s letter requesting Wolf’s presence at a hearing titled “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland” slated to take place on Sept. 17 — Assistant DHS Secretary Beth Spivey slammed the assertion that Wolf’s appearance is necessary, noting the agency offered to allow senior official Ken Cuccinelli to appear before the committee to testify on threats instead.

“I had written to you on September 8, 2020 that it would be contrary to standard practice for  the Acting Secretary, as the President’s selection (and announced at the time as the President’s future  nominee) to be Secretary of Homeland Security, to testify before the Committee on Homeland  Security on a subject matter unrelated to his nomination while that nomination was pending,” Spivey wrote, arguing the “arguments in your [Thompson’s] letter are without merit.”

Spivey noted that Trump formally nominated Wolf to officially serve as secretary Sept. 10, asserting that Wolf will not testify until he is officially confirmed. She added that it is a standard that has long been practiced by both parties. 

“From that moment onward, the Acting Secretary became unavailable to testify before Congress on matters unrelated to his nomination and will regain the ability to do so when the Senate completes the confirmation process,” the letter says.  

“This Presidential nomination obviates any concern that the Acting Secretary’s declining to testify at the Worldwide Threats hearing was premature, conjectural or speculative. 

“Second, the right of a President’s nominee to abstain from testifying on matters unrelated to his  or her nomination while such a nomination is pending is an unwritten rule honored by Chairmen from both sides of the aisle for many decades.”

Spivey went on to argue that the agency has cooperated with the panel’s calls to supply information pertaining to the topic of the hearing, questioning why the alternatives offered by DHS to testify are not considered adequate.  

She said other witnesses who are being called before the committee are not at the Cabinet level, arguing Wolf’s presence would be “inappropriate.” She noted that Wolf had previously “volunteered to testify before

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