Entries in Nancy Pelosi (3)


Boehner, Pelosi Welcome Dalai Lama to Capitol

PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi welcomed the Dalai Lama to the Capitol Thursday, praising his commitment to spread freedom throughout the world while highlighting his unique historical relationship with the United States.

“It’s truly an honor and a privilege to welcome the Dalai Lama to the United States Capitol,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “The bond between the Dalai Lama and the American people has been strong for so long that it’s no surprise that he -- his visits are highly anticipated, and I think rightly so.”

“Wherever he goes the Dalai Lama makes his tireless dedications to the values that we all cherish. He makes them apparent and he makes it a bit contagious. His example humbles nations such as ours that work to spread freedom, tolerance and respect for human dignity, and it sustains those who struggle to secure these universal values for themselves and for their families,” Boehner said. “We appreciate that the Dalai Lama is taking time to speak with us about how we can help spread our shared values, not just in Tibet and China, but the Middle East as well. We extend to you, your holiness, on behalf of the people that we serve our solidarity, our support and our hope that you’ll come back soon.”

Pelosi, D-Calif., said she agreed with Boehner that the Dalai Lama is “the source of understanding.”

“I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve come together under the dome of the Capitol a number of times to honor his Holiness,” Pelosi said. “It is with great admiration -- even I would say affection -- and really a great historic honor to join our distinguished Speaker, our colleagues in a bipartisan way to welcome his Holiness once again to the Capitol of the United States.”

Pelosi recalled that the Dalai Lama’s association with the U.S. and its presidents “goes way back.”

“President George Walker Bush in 2007 was present to present to his holiness the Congressional Gold Medal. At that time he did so honoring the commitment of his holiness to peace, to non-violence, to human rights and to religious understanding,” Pelosi said. “When he was a very little boy and first became the Dalai Lama, President Franklin Roosevelt sent him a watch recognizing his love -- even as a little boy -- for science and technology.”

“It was a watch that had the phases of the moon on it, and it’s always a source of great pride to us that this relationship between our two countries and leaders goes back so far,” she added.

When it became his turn to speak, the Dalai Lama, who just celebrated his 76th birthday, joked that he had nothing to say, and then explained his recent decision to hand over political authority to China and step down as Tibet’s exiled political leader.

“The main reason I believe the country ruled by kings or queens or religious leaders -- they’re outdated,” the Dalai Lama said. “And in fact, the religious institution [and] political institution must be separate.”

“I really felt now is the right time,” he added. “So therefore, I have full confidence now they can take full responsibility -- the elected leadership, by the people themselves -- so they can carry full responsibility.”

The Dalai Lama is in Washington to take part in an ancient Buddhist ritual and a call for world peace. It is possible that he will meet with President Obama at the White House, although he has never been welcomed into the Oval Office.

The Dalai Lama's last visit to the U.S. capital in February 2010 caused a diplomatic spat between the U.S. and China when he met with the president at the White House. The Chinese argue that the Dalai Lama is a dangerous "separatist" who wishes to sever Tibet from China.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nancy Pelosi’s Afghanistan Warning

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is issuing a blunt warning to President Obama regarding his future course in Afghanistan, saying that the troop withdrawal he’s set to begin needs to be more substantial than the few thousand level that’s been discussed publicly.

“No, I don't think that is enough,” Pelosi told ABC News. “I think the transition from military to civilian is going to be in the interest of our security, that it reduces the number of military who have to be there at risk, it reduces the amount of money by like 10-fold -- if you spent $10 billion on civilian effort, you probably will get more security than $120 billion a year, which is what we are spending on the military effort. It doesn't mean you completely eliminate the military effort.”

Asked how much of a troop withdrawal should commence in July, she said, “We will see what the president proposes. But it will have to be something more substantial than we have heard so far, which is a few thousand troops.”

Add to those comments several uncomfortably close House votes on both Afghanistan and Libya, and it’s clear that leading Democrats are sending a message to the Obama White House over foreign policy and national security.

“We just had a vote last week in Congress which was very interesting,” Pelosi said. “We came six votes short of saying let's sit down and work together to plan the withdrawal of these troops [from Afghanistan].”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Washington Shows Support for Jailed Nobel Peace Prize Winner

The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony centered around the empty chair meant for this year's recipient, Liu Xiaobo, currently imprisoned in China. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. support for Nobel Peace Prize winner and jailed human rights activist Liu Xiaobo has flowed from the highest branches of office. President Obama said in a paper statement Friday, “Mr. Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was.”

The president added that the U.S. respects China’s ‘extraordinary’ accomplishment of lifting millions from poverty, and that human rights includes the dignity that comes with freedom from want.

“But,” Obama continued, “Mr. Liu reminds us that human dignity also depends upon the advance of democracy, open society, and the rule of law. The values he espouses are universal, his struggle is peaceful, and he should be released as soon as possible.”

Secretary of State Clinton’s statement echoed the call for Liu’s release, and urged China to again revisit its human rights policy.

“We urge China to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens,” said Clinton.

With Liu Xiaobo imprisoned and his wife Liu Xia under house arrest, no one travelled to Norway to accept the prize. Instead, an empty chair represented Liu’s absence in Oslo. The last time a representative of the winner was absent from the ceremony was in 1935, when Hitler prevented that year’s winner, Count Carl von Ossietzky, or anyone from Germany, from attending.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., did attend Friday’s ceremony, in one of her last acts as speaker of the House. Pelosi has been a long-time advocate for human rights in China; in 1991 she unfurled a bilingual pro-democracy sign in Tiananmen Square, Beijing to mark the army’s killing of protestors two years earlier. In May 2009 -- more than a year and a half before he would be awarded the peace price -- she pushed for the release of Liu Xiaobo, in a letter presented to Chinese President Hu Jintao.

With Pelosi at the helm, the House of Representatives passed a resolution on Wednesday, congratulating Liu Xiaobo on the award of the Nobel Prize and calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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