Democrats offer mixed reactions to Trump's Mideast peace plan

Democrats offer mixed reactions to Trump's Mideast peace plan
© Getty Images

Congressional Democrats offered varying responses Tuesday to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE’s Middle East peace plan, ranging from cautious optimism to outright rejection.

On one end, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Mattis defends Pentagon IG removed by Trump Overnight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 EngelHillicon Valley: Facebook reports huge spike in usage during pandemic | Democrats push for mail-in voting funds in coronavirus stimulus | Trump delays deadline to acquire REAL ID Lawmakers urge EU to sanction Putin associate for election interference Democrats press Pompeo to help Americans stranded abroad amid coronavirus MORE (D-N.Y.) said his initial viewing of the two-page summary “gives me some hope.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 DeutchOcasio-Cortez knocks Pence: 'Utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response' Father of Parkland shooting victim calls on Congress to take action Florida 'red flag' law has removed hundreds of guns: report 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 WarrenHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation Warren releases plan to secure elections during coronavirus pandemic On The Money: Trump officials struggle to get relief loans out the door | Dow soars more than 1600 points | Kudlow says officials 'looking at' offering coronavirus bonds 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 HollenDemocrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Pentagon gets heat over protecting service members from coronavirus Overnight Defense: Lawmakers call for probe into aircraft carrier captain's firing | Sailors cheer ousted commander | Hospital ship to ease screening process for patients 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.