During her weekly press conference on Friday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spoke out to say that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) is in for a rude wakeup call once Joe Biden allegedly takes office.
Pelosi shrugged off Democrats’ losses in the House by telling reporters that her party won the biggest prize when Biden beat Donald Trump, who has yet to concede the election.
“May I remind you that we have a president of the United States, we have a president of the United States. That is so very important. And whether you’re in the minority or majority, if the president is of your party, you have more power,” Pelosi said.
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“And I think that that’s what Mitch McConnell is going to find out now, that whether you’re in the [Senate] majority or the minority, not having Donald Trump in the White House is going to change his leverage and that dynamic,” she added.
When asked to elaborate on her feelings about McConnell, Pelosi described him as a “yes man” to Trump who doesn’t respect the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.
“Well, he’s been known to come to my office and say, ‘I’m not doing anything Donald Trump doesn’t want.’ So to me, that was like an abdication of your first branch of government responsibility. You’re just going to do whatever the president wants? No,” Pelosi said. “This is a separation of power. … The genius of our Constitution.”
“So, again for the good of the country, I am so overjoyed that Joe Biden is president of United States, his decency, his vision, his values … But I also know that he respects the legislative branch, and that there’s a collaboration and we will work together to put legislation together,” she added.
Despite Pelosi’s confidence, McConnell will remain the Senate majority leader unless Democrats are able to flip both seats in Georgia. This would allow him to stall Biden cabinet and judicial nomination, and to block anything that is pushed through by the apparent president and Pelosi.
This comes as Trump is still contesting the results of the election, and McConnell has yet to acknowledge Biden’s alleged win. Pelosi called on Republicans to stop their “tactics of delay, distort and deny,” which she said are hurting America’s effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The election is over. Joe Biden is the president-elect elected with a mandate of over 78 million votes,” she said.