Congresswoman Barbara Lee expresses her concerns on three issues

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Quad-Caucus Leadership Demand Immediate Removal of Steve Bannon from National Security Council

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee and leadership of the Congressional Quad-Caucus – which is composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) – sent a letter to President Donald Trump calling for the immediate removal of Steve Bannon, a white nationalist, from his permanent position on the National Security Council (NSC).

Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressional Quad-Caucus leadership released the following statements upon release of the letter.

Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon at President Trump’s inauguration (YouTube)

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

 “By placing Steve Bannon – a man who has promoted the alt-right and white nationalism – at the center of our nation’s most senior diplomatic and intelligence council, President Trump has placed our national security in grave danger. Steve Bannon should be removed from his permanent position on the National Security Council immediately. There is no place for such inexperience and bigotry at the center of America’s national security apparatus.”

CAPAC Chairwoman Judy Chu (CA-27):

“In the first days of Trump’s presidency, all of our worst fears about Steve Bannon as a supporter of white nationalism have been confirmed. Under his influence, Donald Trump has said he would prioritize Christians over Muslims in his travel ban while flirting with – then doubling down on – Holocaust denial. Now, the elevation of the man who proudly gave a platform to the alt-right to the National Security Council risks politicizing this critical institution. The safety and security of the United States must be paramount to partisan politics. Steve Bannon lacks relevant experience and instead brings a divisive political agenda that is not fit at the core of our national security apparatus. I join my colleagues in calling on President Trump to remove Steve Bannon from a permanent position on the National Security Council and to prioritize expertise and experience in our national security.”

CHC Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01):   

 “President Trump’s decision to demote the roles of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the National Security Council and instead place Stephen Bannon on the Council is unacceptable and calls into question the judgment and motives of the Trump administration. Mr. Bannon is a political operative complicit in peddling white supremacist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic and misogynistic narratives. Mr. Bannon completely lacks the experience necessary to give an objective and informed opinion on global threats and his position on the NSC is a risk to our national security.”

CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (LA-02):

“I am not comfortable entrusting the security of the American people to an untrustworthy, white supremacist. Keeping us safe is the primary function of the federal government and appointing someone as unprepared and undeserving as Steven Bannon to the NSC suggests the president is asleep at the wheel. Mr. Bannon and his naked political motivations need to be immediately removed and replaced with someone who has the wherewithal to make reasoned, objective decisions in life or death situations.”

CPC Co-Chair Ellison (MN-05):

 “It’s bad enough that President Trump is stacking the NSC with a political ally. It’s even worse that this person is Steve Bannon. Mr. Bannon is adored by white supremacists, white nationalists, anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, and the KKK. It’s not hard to see why. This man shouldn’t be allowed to visit the White House – let alone sit on the National Security Council.”

CPC Co-Chair Raul Grijalva (AZ-03):

“Steve Bannon cynically stirs the populist pot despite the elitism he embodies. Don’t let his gruff exterior fool you – Steve Bannon is a Harvard Business School educated Wall Street elitist who made a career betting against the working class, and trafficking in hate speech and conspiracy theories. He represents some of the worst elements of our society, and he wouldn’t have the platform he has today if our new president wasn’t so easily persuaded by them.

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Neal Gorsuch and his wife with President Trump

Statement on Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court

Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement after President Trump announced he has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia:

“I am deeply concerned by President Trump’s decision to name Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to be the next Supreme Court Justice. The president has indicated that his nominee would automatically overturn Roe v. Wade and be approved by radical right-wing organizations. These pre-qualifications present an immediate threat to our constitutional rights and freedoms.

“The Supreme Court is the last line of defense for the protection of our civil and human rights. In order to qualify for a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court, a nominee must respect the constitutional rights of all Americans and prove that he or she will judge cases fairly, with an open mind, and without a political agenda.

“The selection of our next Supreme Court Justice is not a decision we should take lightly, it will dramatically impact this generation and generations to come. The confirmation process must involve an in-depth review of Judge Gorsuch record.

“We must evaluate whether he will protect reproductive freedoms, civil and human rights for everyone, the separation of church and state and our environment among other issues of importance. As a member of the Congressional Black Caucus I believe Judge Gorsuch’s record on issues that impact the African American community, including affirmative action, civil rights, voting rights, and criminal justice reform must be thoroughly examined.

“Given Judge Gorsuch’s record on the federal bench I am concerned that he will not meet the high standards necessary to be a Justice that protects all Americans.”

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A demonstration against right wing agitator Milo Yiannopoulos at UC-Berkeley turned violent Wednesday Night (Feb. 2, 2017) forcing the university to cancel his speech. (YouTube)

Statement on Milo Yiannopoulos and Berkeley demonstration

Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement on the protests at UC Berkeley:

“Milo Yiannopoulos has made a career of inflaming racist, sexist and nativist sentiments. Berkeley has a proud history of dissent and students were fully within their rights to protest peacefully. However, I am disappointed by the unacceptable acts of violence last night which were counterproductive and dangerous.

“President Donald Trump cannot bully our university into silence. Simply put, President Trump’s empty threat to cut funding from UC Berkeley is an abuse of power. As a senior member of the education funding subcommittee, I will continue to stand up to President Trump’s overreach and defend the rights of our students and faculty.”