House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Sunday night, according to The Hill.
The veteran Democrat received the prize primarily for her efforts to make healthcare accessible to Americans, among other things. A number of high-profile speakers took to the podium in Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to celebrate Pelosi’s achievements before the House Speaker accepted the award.
Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President Kennedy, presented the award to Pelosi after giving a short speech in which she lauded the House Speaker for “consistently acting in service of our highest principles and our most vulnerable citizens” and for being the “most important woman in American political history.”
Pelosi was visibly affected, with the Democratic House representative thanking everyone for bestowing the honor on her.
“I’m totally at a loss for words. I’m speechless. I’m overwhelmed by the honor of it all,” Pelosi said. She later released a statement on Twitter, lauding the spirit of the American people.
“Courage is in the DNA of America. Courage, and the optimism & hope that go with it, which are the shaping spirits of the American experience,” she tweeted Sunday night.
Pelosi was joined by a number of Kennedy family members onstage after receiving the award. Last year, former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu had received the award for his battle to take down Confederate statues in the state. A year before that, in 2017, President Barack Obama was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
Meanwhile, Pelosi’s reluctance to call for Donald Trump’s impeachment is once again in the spotlight after Justin Amash became the first Republican congressman to call for the president’s impeachment. The House Speaker has reiterated her desire not to push with impeachment calls against the president, primarily because of the view that such a move would be counter-productive to the Democratic hopes of unseating Trump in 2020. However, as The Daily Beast reports, Amash’s call has brought the spotlight back firmly on her, ratcheting the pressure on Pelosi to call for impeachment.
“Conservative Republican Justin Amash is more principled and forward-leaning on impeachment than Pelosi, Nadler, Neal, and any of the other House Dem leaders right now. Will they wake up?” Ezra Levin, a former Capitol Hill staffer, wrote on Twitter.
It remains unlikely that Pelosi will follow suit, however, given the Democratic leadership’s reluctance to make Trump’s removal from office a drawn-out affair with Republicans still controlling the Senate.