Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), in an interview with Frank Sesno of George Washington University, said that the resignation of Republican John Boehner (OH) as Speaker has harmed the institution of the Speakership. The October 28 C-SPAN interview came in advance of the election of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) by members of the Republican caucus to serve as the new Speaker.

When asked by Sesno about the Freedom Caucus of Tea Party Republicans in the House, Pelosi said "The Speaker said he would step aside because there are elements in his own caucus who said unless you shut down government, because the continuing resolution contained funding for Planned Parenthood, unless you shut down government, we're taking the gavel and he didn't let them do that. He walked away himself. This is historic. This is a very big deal. You cannot let 10 percent of the Congress, let's say 40 members or something, but they have the 218 that the Speaker needs to be elected, to say unless you shut down government, you are no longer Speaker.”

“This is stunning and it is harmful to the institution because he did the right thing by keeping government open. He knew they would vacate the chair over and over again. Now, we had his back, for the institution you don't want the Speaker overturned by 40 people.”

When host Sesno asked Pelosi to confirm if she had Boehner's back, Pelosi appeared to hesitate and then claimed that she had the institution's back. "This isn't good for the institution," said the California Democrat.

As for Ryan, Pelosi praised him for knowing the issues and rules, thus making negotiation easier. "There's a lack of civility going on in their caucus." She remarked that George Washington warned Americans to be wary of political parties who are at war with their own government. "We have come close to that, with certain elements, within the Republican Party."

Appearing to write Republicans out of the American democratic system, Pelosi said "To come and think you have every idea that you have is the only good idea, well maybe monarchy might be better for you."



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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