House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Tuesday that she hoped drug charges against Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) could “humanize” Republicans’ approach to food stamps.
Speaking at a BuzzFeed Brews event, Pelosi noted that when Radel allegedly purchased cocaine from an undercover federal agent on Oct. 29, the buy came “on the heels of the Republicans voting to make sure that everybody who had access to food stamps was drug tested.”
“It’s like, what?” Pelosi said. “To get food stamps you have to be drug tested? And so I hope that it will humanize, shall we say, their thinking about some subjects.”
The Democratic leader said she felt “very sad” for Radel’s family, but added that members of Congress must “hold ourselves to a higher standard in terms of these issues.”
Radel pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession. He was sentenced to one year of supervised probation and was ordered to pay a $250 fine to a victims’ compensation fund.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.