Floor Speech on H.Res. 21, Calling Upon Vice President Pence to Mobilize the Cabinet to Activate the 25th Amendment to Remove the President From Office.
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.Res. 21, Calling Upon Vice President Pence to Mobilize the Cabinet to Activate the 25th Amendment to Remove the President from Office. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I thank the gentleman for yielding and applaud him and salute him as a constitutional scholar, an intellectual resource and the force of justice that he has been as he has crafted and advanced this resolution. And I thank the entire House Democratic Caucus for the love of country, determination to protect our democracy and the loyalty to our oath that has been so beautifully manifested in this dark past week.
Mr. Speaker, a dark week it has been indeed. On Wednesday, the President of the United States incited a deadly insurrection against America that targeted the very heart of our democracy, this temple of democracy, the United States Capitol. Defiling the genius of the Constitution, separate but equal, attacking the first branch of government, trying to prevent us from ascertaining – our constitutional duty to ascertain that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be President and Vice President of the United States.
The gleeful desecration they have – gleeful desecration of the Capitol and violence against the Congress, our staff and our workers are horrors that will forever stain our nation's history. Five Americans have died following the violent attack. More than 50 police officers were seriously injured, including fifteen officers who were hospitalized.
On behalf of the House, I salute and express deepest gratitude to the U.S. Capitol Police for the valor they showed in protecting the lives of Members, especially protecting our staff and those who make Congress function.
Mr. Speaker, this is a sad day for our country, that we have to come to the Floor in a way to defend the Constitution of the United States at this time.
The facts are very clear. The President called for this seditious attack. For days, he urged supporters to come to Washington for the insurrection. Wednesday morning he participated in a rally to encourage the rioters to march on the Capitol and fight. And, not only did he urge people to march on the Capitol and fight, he further fanned the flames and he and his family cheered and celebrated the desecration of the Capitol.
Later that day, as the dangers escalated, he ignored and flat out rejected the pleas of Congress, including those of his own party, to call off his supporters – the rioters, the terrorists – as they engaged in vandalism and violence. Later that day – and, now, the President is saying that he is not responsible and that his incitement to violence was totally appropriate.
The President's actions demonstrate his absolute inability to discharge the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office. Therefore, the President must be removed from office immediately.
This is a decision we make with the utmost solemnity and prayerfulness, which this crisis requires. Removal of the President is an unprecedented action, but it is required because he is an – because it is an unprecedented moment in history because of the danger he poses.
And I heard the previous speaker say that we are objecting to the President because we don't like the way he executes the duties – executes his duties.
No, we don't like it at all, acts of sedition, incitement to insurrection, treasonous activity. And if you are associating yourself with that as the proper execution of the President's duties, you are associating yourself with sedition and treason.
Yesterday, in a Pro Forma session, we introduced a Unanimous Consent request to take up Congressman Raskin's legislation, which calls on the Vice President to mobilize the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment to remove the President from office, again, to prevent him from causing more damage to our country. Who knows what he might do next? But House Republicans rejected this legislation, and so the President's unhinged, unstable, deranged acts of sedition may continue, endangering America and undermining our democracy.
Now, we are taking up this legislation in regular session. After passage, we are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours of passage. This resolution gives House Republicans the clear choice to honor the oath of office, to defend our democracy and to uphold the sacred trust given to us by the Constitution and by those whom we represent.
Mr. Speaker, during the President – Trump Presidency, these four years, and especially during this sad time, I recall the words of the great Israeli poet, Ehud Manor, and that’s what he said when he said, ‘I can't keep silent in light of how my country has changed her face, won’t quit trying to remind her. In her ears, I'll sing my cries until she opens her eyes. I can't keep silent of how my country has changed her face.’
I urge my Republican colleagues to open their eyes and to finally hold this President accountable. The security of our country and the future of our very democracy are at stake. When we pray for God to Bless America, let us hope that blessing comes down strongly on us the next few days.
With that, Mr. Chairman – Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time and again, applaud the great leadership of Mr. Raskin.