Pelosi pledges Dems 'will own August' as Democrats mark 200 days of House majority
Congress prepares to begin a six-week recess period.
House Democrats marked 200 days in the majority on Thursday morning, touting legislation that they've passed from their agenda while foreshadowing the pressure they intend to put on Republicans through the six-week August recess.
"Two-hundred days ago, the most dynamic and diverse House majority in history took the oath of office and then got to work," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. "Today on the steps of the Capitol, we celebrate the extraordinary progress that our historic majority, led by so many outstanding freshmen, has advanced."
While Pelosi credited her freshmen class, only Rep. Ilhan Omar from the headline-popping "Squad" attended, though she did not speak and quickly left. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley all skipped the event.
Reps. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, Lauren Underwood of Illinois and Katie Hill of California were among the freshmen Democrats who attended. The lawmakers kept to script and did not weigh in deeply on impeachment. Instead, they celebrated their "For the People" agenda, highlighted by H.R. 1, aptly named the "For the People Act of 2019," which aimed to ensure fair elections, restore ethics in government, fight foreign intervention in elections and reduce dark money in politics, which is political spending where the source of the money isn't disclosed.
Most measures that House Democrats have sent to the Senate have stacked up without consideration, effectively killed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has proudly ignored hundreds of Democratic measures.
But most have drawn little appeal from Senate Republicans, leading Pelosi to dub McConnell the "Grim Reaper." For bills that have originated in the House, a whopping 353 have been agreed to, but the Senate has only passed.
So far, since the new Democratic majority took control of the House on Jan. 3, dividing political power on Capitol Hill, just 39 bills have been sent to the Oval Office and only 29 of them have been enacted into law. Of the 29 enacted into law, just 18 have originated in the lower chamber. The president has vetoed five measures.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters he watched House Democrats celebrate their first 200 days in the majority.
"What I can't figure out is what they're celebrating," McCarthy, R-Calif., said. "What have they actually accomplished?"
Congress is expected to kick off its recess following passage later Thursday of the debt limit spending agreement with President Donald Trump.
Pelosi will then attempt to thaw her icy relationship with Ocasio-Cortez in a private meeting scheduled Friday morning at the Capitol.
She said that through the six-week recess, Democrats will "accelerate a drumbeat across the nation."
"We will own August," she predicted, promising to "make it too hot to handle for the Senate not to take up our bills."
So far, at least 93 Democrats have called for an impeachment inquiry against Trump. After Wednesday's Mueller hearings, just one lawmaker -- Rep. Lori Trahan of Massachusetts, has come out in favor of impeachment -- less than was anticipated if Mueller had delivered an irrefutable case with his testimony.
One of the most vocal proponents of impeachment, Rep. Al Green of Texas, was on the House floor Thursday morning to make his latest push for impeaching Trump.
"We are now one day since Mr. Mueller testified before the Congress of the United States of America, the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee," Green, D-Texas, said, standing along sign a poster that read "Impeach Now.' "Mr. Mueller has written his report. He has testified before Congress and now the question really becomes 'what are we going to do?'"