WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday told a meeting of U.S. mayors that President Donald Trump is holding 800,000 federal workers “hostage” to fulfill a campaign promise to build a border wall and urged Republican mayors to stop their party from rubber stamping Trump’s policies.
“Congressional Democrats support smart, effective border security, but we do not support the president holding workers hostage… for a campaign applause line,” she said at the U.S Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting.
“To the Republicans in the crowd, I say take back your party, the Grand Old Party… America needs a strong Republican Party, not a rubber stamp,” Pelosi said.
She also announced that she has established a committee to address climate change issues and pushed the need for “Green, good-paying jobs.”
Earlier, Steve Benjamin, the president of the mayors’ group, called on Washington to build “a new green infrastructure” in the U.S.
Mayor Tom McGee of Lynn, Massachusetts, said he agreed with Pelosi’s priorities. “I was happy to hear her continued emphasis on housing and infrastructure,” he said, calling them bipartisan issues.
Pelosi said infrastructure improvement was “some of the common ground” she has with Trump.
“In fact, 80 percent of the conversations we’ve had have been about infrastructure,” she said.
Pelosi also said Congress needs to deal with “the sinfulness, the immorality, of the disparity of income in our country,” citing statistics that she said show CEO salaries are increasing at far higher rates than those of their workers.
“[Americans] are asking if they have a place in the economy of tomorrow,” she said. “We must build an economy that gives all Americans the tools they need to succeed in the 21st century.”