1. Foreign Policy
B) Israel and the Middle East
Pelosi reaffirms that "America and Israel share an
unbreakable bond: in peace and war; and in prosperity and
in hardship." Pelosi emphasized that "a strong
relationship between the United States and Israel has long
been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. America's
commitment to the safety and security of the State of Israel
is unwavering, regardless of which party is in power. However,
the war in Iraq has made both America and Israel less safe."
Pelosi's voting record shows consistent support for Israel.
Prior to 2006 elections in the Palestinian Authority, she
voted for a Congressional initiative disapproving of participation
in the elections by Hamas and other organizations defined
as terrorist by the legislation. She agrees with the current
U.S. stance in support of a land-for-peace arrangement.
She has applauded Israeli "hopeful signs" of offering
land, while criticizing Palestinian "threats"
of not demonstrating peace in turn. She states, "If
the Palestinians agree to coordinate with Israel on the
evacuation, establish the rule of law, and demonstrate a
capacity to govern, the world may be convinced that finally
there is a real partner for peace."
Pelosi supports the Syria Accountability Act and Iran Freedom
and Support Act. In a speech at the AIPAC 2005 annual conference,
Pelosi said that "for too long, leaders from both parties
haven't done enough" to put pressure on Russia and
China who are providing Iran with technological information
on nuclear issues and missiles. "If evidence of participation
by other nations in Iran's nuclear program is discovered,
I will insist that the Administration use, rather than ignore,
the evidence in determining how the US deals with that nation
or nations on other issues."
During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Pelosi voted in
favor of Resolution 921 on the count that "the seizure
of Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah terrorists was an unprovoked
attack and Israel has the right, and indeed the obligation,
to respond." She argues organizations and political
bodies in the Mideast like Hamas and Hezbollah "have
a greater interest in maintaining a state of hostility with
Israel than in improving the lives of the people they claim
to represent." Pelosi asserts that civilians on both
sides of the border "have been put at risk by the aggression
of Hamas and Hezbollah" in part for their use of "civilians
as shields by concealing weapons in civilian areas."
C) North Korea
Pelosi strongly condemns North Korea's missile launches.
"North Korea is moving outside the circle of acceptable
behavior and is threatening the region, the United States,
and the world," she says. "We must use every possible
tool to stop North Korea's unacceptable, provocative actions
including six party, multilateral, and bilateral diplomatic
2. Health Care
Nancy Pelosi vs. A Solution to America's Health Care Crisis
America's health care system is failing and colossally expensive. The good news is that bills to provide a genuine solution exist both at national and state levels. The question is why Nancy Pelosi doesn't back them, despite the fact that it is being promoted by members of her own party, and supported by her own constituents.
America's health care crisis keeps getting worse: The number of uninsured Americans is rising, and now approaches 50 million, including over 8 million children. Paying health care bills has become the number one source of personal bankruptcy in the US. America spends far more on health care than any other country and costs continue to escalate. Health care costs have become a bitter point of contention in labor negotiations.
But the real news about America's health care crisis is that there is a good solution, several in fact. The US is the only industrialized country that doesn't cover all its citizens Viable health care systems exist, from Britain's socialized medicine to Canada's single payer health care. No industrialized country pays close to as much for health care as the US, yet most have better health care outcomes on measures such as infant mortality and life expectancy.
How can we pay so much with such a mediocre return? The answer is: not only is our system unjust, with those least able to pay often paying the most, it is inefficient. The dozens of insurance companies, each with dozens of levels of coverage, require an army of bureaucrats to keep track of which patient is entitled to what level of care. Depending on the estimate, somewhere between 15% to 25% of every US health care dollar is spent on bureaucracy, in comparison to just a few percent in other countries.
The solution to the US health care crisis is simple. Just adapt a system that's working in another country. Among the various systems, the greatest focus has been on Canada's single payer system. In the Canadian system, the doctors and hospitals are private. What is public is the system of payment. Rather than dozens of insurance companies, Canadians are insured through the government, the "single payer." The system is paid for through progressive taxes.
Under their single payer system, everyone is covered and entitled to the same level of coverage. And the coverage is independent of ability to pay, being pre-paid by the government.
An important advantage of adopting a single payer system is to remove from employers the burden of providing health care. The CEO of General Motors Canada, Michael Grimaldi, said "The public health care system significantly reduces total labour costs for automobile manufacturing firms, compared to their cost of equivalent private insurance services purchased by U.S.-based automakers."
A number of Congresspeople advocate a single payer system for the US. Representative John Conyers, Jr. has introduced a bill, HR676, that would create such a system. There are currently 78 cosponsors, including virtually all the members from the San Francisco Bay Area: Michael Honda, Tom Lantos, Barbara Lee, George Miller, Pete Stark, and Lynn Woolsey. But not Nancy Pelosi.
In California, a bill that would create a single payer system in California passed both houses of the California legislature (Kuehl, SB840) only to be vetoed by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to the LA Times "(SB840) has the endorsement of more than 400 entities, including the city of Los Angeles, Service Employees Union, California Labor Federation and 39 state lawmakers, including Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuņez (D-Los Angeles)." It has the support of all San Francisco state representatives. But not Nancy Pelosi.
Although it lost state-wide in 1994, Prop 186, which would have established a single payer system in California, passed in San Francisco and in Nancy Pelosi's district. Thus, it had the support of the majority of Nancy Pelosi's constituents. But not Nancy Pelosi.
A search of Nancy Pelosi's website for single payer or single-payer comes up empty. Although she is willing to admit there's a health care crisis, she's unwilling to back a genuine solution.
Given that most of Pelosi's constituents and colleagues support single payer, we might ask who opposes it. Single payer is opposed by the health insurance industry, which would be eliminated under single payer. America's pharmaceutical companies also oppose single payer since the government-run system would give drug buyers the clout to negotiate lower prices. Both of these industries contribute tens of millions of dollars to political campaign funds, a fact of which Pelosi, a star fund-raiser, is undoubtedly aware.
The question is, where do Nancy Pelosi's priorities lie? With her constituents, her party, and the good of her country, or with well-healed campaign contributors?
Pelosi has been a supporter of immigrant rights. She voted
against the Secure Fence Act of 2006
5. Trade and Labor
6. Energy and Environment
7. Budget and Taxes
8. Civil Liberties
Pelosi has voted for protection of civil liberties and First
Amendment rights. She voted against a Constitutional amendment
against flag-burning, and against a Congressional resolution
supporting the display of the Ten Commandments in courtrooms.
9. The War on Terrorism