February 08, 2018

Trump's Call For Military Parade 'Simply Ridiculous,' Democratic Sen. Duckworth Says

Source: NPR


Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who lost her legs while serving in the Iraq War, is one of President Trump's fiercest critics.

Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) about the budget votes Thursday, Trump's call for a military parade in Washington and other topics.

Interview Highlights

On whether she could support Senate leaders' two-year budget deal, which leaves out immigration issues

"I think that we do need to address the Dreamers. I don't know that we need to address it as part of the budget deal. Remember that on the Senate side, Sen. McConnell, the Republican leader, has made a commitment to allow us to actually do a regular-order deal and floor vote on it."

On whether that will happen before the March 5 deadline

"That's the goal, is that it needs to happen before the deadline, or we need to do something with the deadline, because we need to protect the Dreamers and keep them from being deported."

On Trump asking the Pentagon to draw up plans for a military parade in Washington

"I think that it shows that he is truly not fit to be commander in chief of our military. We have troops who are in harm's way right now, we have Secretary Tillerson talking about sending Americans into Syria on a permanent basis, and our president wants to spend hard-earned taxpayer dollars on a parade? That's simply ridiculous.

"He's the commander in chief, and if he gives the order, the military will have to carry it out, because it's a lawful order. But it is a foolish one, and not one that is based on anything that will help our military men and women. If he wants to spend that kind of money — it will be hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to do something like that — then let's send that to the troops or send it to their family members. Let's not blow it on a parade for Trump's ego."

On why she responded to Trump calling  Democrats who didn't stand and applaud during his State of the Union speech "treasonous"

"Because he gets away with it, unless someone calls him out who has the standing to call him out on these types of things. He did the same thing when he accused Democrats of not supporting our military during the budget fight. It's simply not true. And he cannot be allowed to put out rhetoric out there that hurts our nation. We are the leading democracy on the face of the Earth. This is not a place where you call somebody 'treasonous' because they reject the opinions of those who are in power. If anything, it's the most American thing you can do, to speak up, stand up and speak your mind and oppose those who are in power."

On whether there's any end in sight for the war in Afghanistan

"As long as we do not have a new Authorization for Use of Military Force, I don't see how there is an end to our conflicts in the Middle East. It's why I have been pushing so hard for my colleagues and I to debate and develop a new Authorization for Use of Military Force that will actually talk about what the end state needs to be, that will talk about what the parameters are. Until then, we have ceded the dialogue to the administration, which has continued to move forward without Congress' oversight, which is our constitutional duty."

On expecting her second child, which would make her the first sitting senator to give birth

"Well [my husband and I] are very, very happy. I'm sure it's not going to be any different than any working mom who's trying to juggle her work life and her personal life. It is somewhat ridiculous that it's 2018 and this is such big news. But it says something about the need for more women in leadership, not just here in the Senate — although we sorely need them — but also all across America, whether it's in boardrooms, or all across our nation."

"I'm not quite sure yet [how much time I will take off]. We're still working on that. Because I am the first, there are no maternity parental leave policies for senators, especially those who actually give birth. So I will be working with the administration of the Senate to set some of the ground rules and develop the policy. I guess when you're the first one, you have the opportunity to really push to set what the rules are for everyone."

By:  Staff