Schumer and Pelosi Demand Equal Airtime To 'Immediately' Rebut Trump's Tuesday Evening Address

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-Texas, left, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., right, and other members of Congress, hold small candles aloft in front of the Supreme Court during a news conference about President Donald Trump's recent executive orders, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

 

You read that right. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) believe they are entitled to equal airtime following President Trump’s primetime speech about the border crisis. And they demand it immediately.

They were not alone. Many on the left agree with them including pollster Larry Sabato.

Someone needs to explain to them that one Speaker of the House + one Senate Minority Leader ≠ one President. Although Democrats are still unwilling to accept the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency, he is the lawful President and it is any president’s right to request television airtime to address the nation.

In a joint statement, Chuck and Nancy state that because they are sure Trump’s address “will be full of malice and misinformation,” they “must immediately be given equal airtime.”

The statement also says “Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans in Congress have repeatedly urged the President and Leader McConnell to end the Trump Shutdown and re-open the government while Congress debates the President’s expensive and ineffective wall.”

Great idea. “Sure Chuck and Nancy. I trust you. Okay, I’ll sign the bill without the funding for the wall, then we can debate afterward.” Wait. Didn’t Reagan fall for that?

Schumer and Pelosi have made themselves very clear that they will not budge on wall funding. It is “non-negotiable.” Although compromise by both sides is the only way bipartisan bills get passed in Washington, Schumer and Pelosi have stated unequivocally their unwillingness to find common ground.

Democrats had offered $1.3 billion for border security in the original bill with the stipulation that the funds could only be used to repair or replace existing sections of the wall or for other security measures such as technology. None of the money could be used to build new sections of the wall.

There was a time when both Schumer and Pelosi saw illegal immigration as a problem. A border fence, as it was referred to during the Bush administration was not a controversial issue at all. The measure had bipartisan support.

In 2009, Schumer said “illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple,” adding that the portions of “border fence that had already been built were a significant barrier to illegal immigration.”

He also said “one of the most effective things we do on the border is turn people back … they get up to the border and we find them and say, ‘go home!’”

Nancy Pelosi also opposed illegal immigration in 2008. She said “we do need to address the issue of immigration and the challenge we have of undocumented people in our country. We certainly do not want any more coming in.”

It’s time to press them to find out what has happened in the meantime to change their minds so completely. Why did they support a border wall before, but now oppose it so intensely. The situation at the border, far from having improved in the past ten years, has deteriorated significantly.

Nancy Pelosi, having just been reelected as Speaker of the House is feeling especially powerful these days. She needs to remember hers was not an easy victory. Many House candidates, especially those running in Republican districts, pledged they would vote against her during their campaigns. Lord knows what concessions were made to gain their eventual support. But, in the end, only fifteen House Democrats voted against Pelosi leaving her with a cushion of 3 votes.

Both Schumer and Pelosi need to remember that a Republican occupies the White House and the Senate holds a Republican majority.

Their demand for equal air time is quite presumptuous.

The majority of Americans do not share their fierce opposition to border security. A new Economist/YouGov survey “gauged the level of concern Americans have on the issue to find that only 7 percent of the overall public say illegal immigration is “not a problem”; 2 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and even 12 percent of Democrats agree with the statement.”

Pelosi continues to say a border wall is immoral. 88% of Democrats, 93% of independents and 98% of Republicans in America believe that illegal immigration is a problem. They may not agree that a wall is the solution, but they obviously believe that something must be done. Yet Pelosi and Schumer are unwilling to negotiate with the President to fix the situation.

Trump has signaled his willingness to compromise from the beginning. But they refuse to yield for two reasons. First, because the wall was his primary campaign promise, his failure to build it will damage his reelection prospects. And second, illegal immigrants provide a steady stream of new, mostly Democratic voters.

If we needed any more proof that Democrats’ actions are motivated by politics, several major networks, including ABC and NBC, were initially reluctant to grant the President eight minutes of airtime to deliver his address. Eventually, however, they all agreed to run it. Of course, CNN plans to air a Democratic rebuttal as well.

Schumer and Pelosi are willing to hold government workers hostage over their refusal to yield, even a little bit, on this issue and they are blaming it on Trump. As they always do.

And the partial government shutdown continues.

President Trump must use every tool at his disposal as he presents his case to the American people tonight. In addition to providing facts and statistics, he must discuss the real life consequences of inadequate border security. And yes, he must appeal to our emotions. Nothing made the drug epidemic more real to me than seeing my daughter’s friend lying in a casket two years ago. This young man had died from a fentanyl overdose at the age of 24. Trump must speak to us about the murders committed by illegals such as the recent killing of CA Police Officer Ronil Singh.

I hope Trump knocks it out of the park.