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Democrats offer mixed reactions to Trump's Mideast peace plan

Democrats offer mixed reactions to Trump's Mideast peace plan
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Congressional Democrats offered varying responses Tuesday to President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE’s Middle East peace plan, ranging from cautious optimism to outright rejection.

On one end, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election Overnight Health Care: House Dem report blasts Trump coronavirus response | Regeneron halts trial of antibody drug in sickest hospitalized patients | McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 MORE (D-Calif.) said the Trump administration’s proposed resolution to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict provides some areas of “common ground” for Democrats to get behind and support.

“If there’s a possibility for peace, we want to give it a chance,” Pelosi said following the president’s unveiling of the plan at the White House alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE.

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The White House sent a two-page brief to lawmakers, Pelosi said, shortly before the unveiling, with the speaker saying it “whet our appetite” to view the plan in full.

“On the first read of these two pages, there appears to be a basis for negotiations,” Pelosi said. “So let us be optimistic and hopeful, and let us pray for peace.”

Trump later introduced an 80-page framework.

House Democrats said they were initially heartened by the inclusion of a call for a two-state solution, a policy priority that administration officials had earlier shied away from endorsing while formulating the plan.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Administration notifies Congress it plans to approve F-35 sale to UAE | VMI votes to remove Stonewall Jackson statue after allegations of racism| House defense panel chairman: Trump has 'no plan' to leave Afghanistan by Christmas Administration notifies Congress it plans to approve F-35 sale to UAE On The Trail: The fallacy of a conclusive election night MORE (D-N.Y.) said his initial viewing of the two-page summary “gives me some hope.”

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“One of the expressions I always like to use is the devil is in the detail. We’ve seen the proposal. I haven’t looked at it extensively. There’s some good room for hope there,” Engel said.

Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchShakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Florida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Matt Gaetz, Roger Stone back far-right activist Laura Loomer in congressional bid MORE (D-Fla.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and International Terrorism, said he had a brief conversation with White House officials Tuesday morning ahead of the rollout and was encouraged by key aspects of the plan.

“Certainly, it seems to preserve that possibility of a two-state solution,” Deutch said. “The president spoke openly about a Palestinian state. He also spoke at length about meeting Israel’s security needs. I believe and hope conversation can continue and lead to negotiations between the parties.”

But on the other side of the Capitol, several Senate Democrats slammed the proposal after Trump's announcement from the White House.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren has expressed interest in being Biden's Treasury secretary: report The Democrats' 50 state strategy never reached rural America What a Biden administration should look like MORE (D-Mass.), who is seeking the party’s presidential nomination, ripped the administration's plan, arguing it offered no real future for a Palestinian state.

Warren tweeted that Trump's proposal was a "rubber stamp" for future annexation of Palestinian-held territory by Israeli forces, adding that she would oppose any plan that, like Trump's, was not crafted with Palestinian negotiators at the table.

"Trump's 'peace plan' is a rubber stamp for annexation and offers no chance for a real Palestinian state. Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn't diplomacy, it's a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form—and reverse any policy that supports it," she tweeted.

Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Democratic senators offer bill to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers MORE (D-Md.) called Trump’s proposal an “anti-peace plan,” arguing it is “one-sided” to the detriment of Palestinians.

Trump has urged Palestinian leaders publicly to support the plan. Palestinian officials have so far rejected the Trump administration's requests to begin negotiations.