Dec 5, 2019

Nancy Pelosi seizes the reins

Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's formal impeachment announcement on Thursday was addressed squarely at skittish members within her caucus.

Why it matters: President Trump wants as many Democratic "no" votes on the board when the inevitable vote to impeach comes, so Republicans are trying to scare House Democrats from red and swing districts.

The big picture: This is a chance for Pelosi to shape the conversation.

  • Until now, mostly House Intel Chair Schiff — followed by House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler — has dominated the stage, and soon it will be in the Senate's hands.
  • Coming tonight: Pelosi has a CNN town hall at 9 p.m. ET.

Between the lines: In her formal statement, Pelosi used simple declarative sentences to convey the idea there is no alternative:

  • "The facts are uncontested.”
  • "Our democracy is what is at stake.”
  • "The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”

She was a bit more colorful in the press conference that followed:

  • Pelosi's reply to a reporter trying to bait her into saying she hates Trump: “Don’t mess with me.”

The bottom line: In both cases, Pelosi was clear. For Democrats, she's the boss.

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The state of play: Pelosi is expected to bring a vote on impeachment to the House floor.

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Pelosi returns to press conference to address question on whether she hates Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi returned to the lectern after finishing her weekly press briefing on Thursday to address a reporter who asked whether she hates President Trump.

Why it matters: Pelosi — often steely during her press appearances — was angered by the question that came as she was walking away, telling Sinclair's James Rosen, who asked the question, "Don't mess with me when it comes to words like that."

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House passes Pelosi-backed drug pricing bill

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The House on Thursday passed a drug pricing bill backed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that would allow the federal government to negotiate prices for specific drugs on behalf of Medicare and the private market.

Why it matters: Pelosi struck a last-minute deal with progressive Democrats who thought the bill didn't go far enough. Nonetheless, the bill has almost no chance in a Republican-controlled Senate.

Go deeper: Nancy Pelosi's drug pricing bill threatens small biotech companies

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