House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on Saturday night at the Nebraska Democratic Party’s (NDP) annual Morrison Exon fundraiser.
The theme of the evening was “Votes for Women,” celebrating 100 years of women’s right to vote. For the NDP, it seemed fitting to have the highest-ranking elected woman in United States history speak at the event.
Continuing with theme, Pelosi spoke about the need for more women and more diversity in Congress. Pelosi said that this year was the first time that more than 100 women were serving in the House of Representatives. During the fundraiser, she pledged $1,000 to the Frank LaMere Grassroots Fellows and Candidates of Color Fund.
One of the key topics discussed that evening was the impeachment inquiry against Trump, in which Pelosi is a key figure.
Commenting on the investigation, Pelsoi said it was important for elected officials to uphold the Constitution. In her official announcement she said, “no one is above the law.” This announcement was made on Sept. 24, shortly after the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution.
“What I said when others were urging earlier and swifter action, I said when we have the facts we’ll be ready. And we’re ready,” Pelosi said at the Hilton in Downtown Omaha Saturday.
Attendee and President of the College Democrats of Nebraska, Nate Johnson, agreed with the Speaker’s message that Congress must legislate, litigate and investigate.
“It is the duty of Congress and the courts, regardless of partisanship, to keep the executive in check,” said Johnson. “This is exactly what Speaker Pelosi has done and will continue to do.”
Along with keeping the executive in check, Pelosi spoke about the recent viral photo that featured herself.
Earlier in October, Trump tweeted a photo of Pelosi with the caption of “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!” The photo shows Pelosi, the only woman in the conference room, standing and pointing her finger at the president. After the tweet went viral, Pelosi made the photo her Twitter header.
“Why they put that photo out, I don’t know,” she said Saturday. “But thank you very much.”
Pelosi explained that in the meeting she was confronting President Trump on his recent decision of withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria. She asked him what assistance he will provide for the damage to the civilian population and how he was planning on protecting the American homeland from ISIS without these former allies.
Pelosi said he got upset after that and even more upset after she told him, “all roads lead to Putin.”
Beyond the impeachment inquiry, Pelosi outlined key legislation she wanted to focus on. First, make healthcare more affordable by lowering the price of prescription drugs. Second, create bigger paychecks by fixing the country’s infrastructure. Finally, clean up the government by reducing the role of “dark special interest money.”
Concluding the evening, Native American tribes in Nebraska honored Pelosi through gifts and traditional song. The presenters spoke about missing and murdered Indigenous women, the activism of Frank LaMere and the new statue of Chief Standing Bear in the Capitol. The Ponca Tribe gifted the Speaker a star quilt, their highest honor, with a gavel stitched on the back as a thank you.
UNO student Alicia Laufenberg attended the event with the Nebraska State Education Association. She said that overall it was reassuring to have Speaker Pelosi, who is such a big name in politics, come to Nebraska.
“I feel like we get overlooked by liberal politicians because we are such a red state, but we went purple for Obama in ‘08,” said Laufenberg. “There’s definitely a growing liberal population across Nebraska, especially in Omaha.”