Welcome to the jungle: New Dems get early political lesson




Welcome to the jungle: New Dems get early political lesson
Welcome to the jungle: New Dems get early political lesson  

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The education of the star-studded class of House freshmen has begun.

Lesson one: Speaking with the bluntness of a candidate can produce swift and uncomfortable results.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib learned that before lunch Friday, when her profane remarks the night before vowing to impeach President Donald Trump drew almost no support, and plenty of pushback, from members of her party.

"It's been pretty intense," Tlaib, D-Mich., told The Associated Press in a brief hallway interview Friday as she reported to the House to face her colleagues.

Hours after Tlaib was sworn in as part of the history-making class of freshmen that helped flip the House to Democratic control, she ran afoul of the widespread sense among her colleagues that they should focus for now on health care and other policies rather than impeachment - at least until special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation concludes.

"We're gonna impeach the motherf---er," Tlaib exclaimed during a party Thursday night hosted by the liberal activist group MoveOn, according to video and comments on Twitter.

It was a striking coda to the Democrats' heady ascendance to the House majority Thursday, sparking unusually public corrections from House veterans.

"I disagree with what she said," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., during a CNN interview. His committee would be the one to begin impeachment proceedings.

"It is too early to talk about that intelligently," Nadler said. "We have to follow the facts."

Newcomers routinely stumble as they learn how things are done on Capitol Hill. But Tlaib and her classmates have been celebrated in magazine profiles for their independence and their promises to stand up to the powers that be. By rebuking one, the more seasoned Democrats were effectively warning the others.

"I think some of our new members probably don't realize that you are always on, that when you are a member of Congress, there's always someone listening," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. She said she hopes Tlaib's remarks aren't news for long.

More than Tlaib's profanity, it was her vow to impeach Trump that drew her colleagues' disapproval.

Tlaib's defiance flew in the face of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's warning to focus on policies the candidates had promised ahead of the Nov. 6 elections. The timing also chafed, just hours before congressional leaders were headed to the White House to try to resolve the standoff over the border wall Trump is demanding in exchange for reopening the government. Republicans pounced, using the occasion to question the Democrats' true priorities and Pelosi's leadership.

With a tight smile, Pelosi rejected Tlaib's profanity and her impeachment vow.

"That is not the position of the House Democratic caucus," Pelosi said on MSNBC of Tlaib's comments. "I don't think we should make a big deal of it."

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., served up a reminder to the new members that seniority rules in Congress.

"She's a freshman. It's her first day here," Connolly said of Tlaib. "She went in front of an enthusiastic crowd of her supporters and it was red meat for them. She yielded to that temptation."

"I'm sure upon reflection," Connolly suggested, "she might choose other words to describe her feelings."

Talk of impeachment remains in the air, fueled by a handful of Democrats on Pelosi's left flank who are pressuring her to more aggressively pursue the issue. But such proceedings appear unlikely for now. Even if the House advances any articles of impeachment, a two-thirds-majority vote to convict Trump in the Republican-controlled Senate and remove him from office would seem out of the question, barring astonishing new revelations.

Tlaib wasn't the only freshman who got a lesson in how one comment can upend Capitol Hill.

Some of Tlaib's classmates were pursued for reaction - standard results when a political ally says something that raises eyebrows.

"I am not talking about those things," laughed Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., when asked Friday to respond to Tlaib's remarks.

She said she was elected because she talked about preserving health care. "I'm not going to tell anyone else what to do, but certainly, I think, it would behoove all of us to really be working for the people who need" Congress' help.

___

Associated Press Writers Alan Fram and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

___

Follow Kellman on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/APLaurieKellman

COMMENTS

More Related News

House Oversight threatens to subpoena Kellyanne Conway
House Oversight threatens to subpoena Kellyanne Conway

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has cited Conway for multiple violations of the Hatch Act.

North Korea says Kim receives
North Korea says Kim receives 'excellent' letter from Trump
  • World
  • 2019-06-23 05:32:40Z

The White House declined to confirm that Trump had sent a letter to Kim. It comes as nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea broke down after the failed summit between Kim and Trump in February in Vietnam.

Amid tough talk, Trump says he could be Iran
Amid tough talk, Trump says he could be Iran's 'best friend'

President Donald Trump said Saturday that military action against Iran was still an option for its downing of an unmanned U.S. military aircraft, but amid heightened tensions he dangled the prospect of eventually becoming an unlikely "best friend" of America's longtime Middle Eastern adversary. Trump also said "we very much appreciate" that Iran's Revolutionary Guard chose not to target a U.S. spy plane carrying more than 30 people. The president's softer tone Saturday marked a stark contrast to the anti-Iran rhetoric he employed throughout the presidential campaign and presidency, including his use of punishing economic sanctions in an attempt to pressure Iran to give up its quest to...

Trump postpones nationwide immigration enforcement sweep
Trump postpones nationwide immigration enforcement sweep

President Donald Trump on Saturday delayed a nationwide immigration sweep to deport people living the United States illegally, including families, saying he would give lawmakers two weeks to work out solutions for the southern border. The move came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump on Friday

Trump Says He Scrapped Iran Strikes Because They Weren
Trump Says He Scrapped Iran Strikes Because They Weren't 'Proportionate'

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he called off retaliatory strikes on three Iranian sites following the downing of a U.S. Navy drone because the action would not have been "proportionate.""We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General," Trump tweeted Friday. "10 minutes before the strike I stopped it."A commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps told a semi-official news agency Friday that the drone had been accompanied by a manned U.S. spy plane that Iranian forces decided not to target.The planned U.S. attack, ordered after Iranian forces shot down a U.S. Navy drone...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.