Fighting Back: “Republicans who control the House, the Senate and the White House are refusing to govern”

 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Representative Adam Smith of Washington state.

(Congressman Adam Smith of Washington, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, Smith condemns the Republican Congress’ refusal to govern and inability to pass a budget that meets the needs and values of our country.)

Rep. Smith:

I know a lot of people paid close attention to the government shutdown that happened last week and are wondering what it was all about. Why did it happen? And there’s really a very simple explanation. The Republicans who control the House, the Senate and the White House are refusing to govern on the critical issues that face our country. And what they were trying to do last week – and ultimately did do – was pass yet another short-term, stop-gap spending bill. That is not funding the government. […]

We need to pass a budget to fix health care, to deal with disaster relief to deal with all of these issues if we’re going to actually take care of the middle class and the working people of this country – and that is what the Republicans have refused to do. […]

The problem we have in this country right now is the Republicans who control the House, the Senate and the White House, flat out refuse to govern. They refuse to fix our health care system, they refuse to pass a budget, they refuse to take care of disaster relief. It is time we hold them accountable.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

Transcript: Congressman Adam Smith Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

“Hello, I’m Adam Smith. I’m the Congressman who represents the 9th District of the state of Washington, and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to give the Democratic message for this week.

“I know a lot of people paid close attention to the government shutdown that happened last week and are wondering what it was all about. Why did it happen? And there’s really a very simple explanation. The Republicans who control the House, the Senate and the White House are refusing to govern on the critical issues that face our country. And what they were trying to do last week – and ultimately did do – was pass yet another short-term, stop-gap spending bill. That is not funding the government.

“There are so many issues that are not being addressed by this Congress, and what Democrats were trying to do was basically to force the Republicans to do their job. They won the election. They control the House, they control the Senate, they control the White House. It’s time to govern, but they’re not doing it. They’re not passing a budget to begin with.

“I’m the Ranking Member in the House Armed Services Committee, and I’ve been privileged to work with the men and women who serve in our military. And we could not be better served, they make us proud every day. But the Congress right now, the Republican-controlled Congress is not serving our military, because it’s not passing a defense budget. A short-term spending bill is not a budget. The leaders of the Pentagon do not know from one week to the next how much money they’re going to have to spend. That makes it impossible to plan and impossible to put us in a position to adequately meet the national security needs of this country.

“And it’s not just the Defense Department, it’s the entire budget. Our infrastructure. We have a crumbling infrastructure in this country estimated to have a $600 billion backfill. But again, the Republicans will not pass a transportation budget.

“In a short-term spending bill, what they’ve passed now four times since the end of the fiscal year in September, is not a budget. They’re not funding infrastructure, they’re not funding research, they’re not funding education. We are stumbling forward one month at a time, and it goes beyond the budget.

“We have had horrible hurricanes last year hit Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They have not passed the disaster relief that these areas desperately need. Again, simply kicking the can down the road.

“And of course, DACA. And we’ve heard a lot about it. The young people who came into this country didn’t make the choice to come into this country. The only country they’ve ever really known is the United States of America. And our government, a couple years ago, gave them legal status in this country – about 800,000 young people.

“And then six months ago, President Trump simply took it away. Now at the time, he said he hoped Congress would pass legislation to deal with this, but the Republican Congress again has refused to do it. And again, that’s part of what was trying to be forced last week – to force them to give us a vote. If a vote came up on DACA, on protection for these DREAMers – for these young people – it would pass overwhelmingly in the House and the Senate. But the Republicans refuse to even give us a vote.

“The only thing that the Republicans have done since they took over Congress and the White House last year, is pass a massive tax cut for the wealthiest among us and for corporations. Two groups of people that have had more than enough benefits in the last couple of decades. That tax cut even comes at the expense, in some cases, of middle class people.

“What Democrats want is – we want an economy that builds from the middle out. That working people in the middle class can benefit from.

“Now, you’ve seen all the signs that our economy is booming. Unfortunately, about 90 to 95 percent of that benefit is going to about 5 or 10 percent of the country.

“We need to pass a budget to fix health care, to deal with disaster relief to deal with all of these issues if we’re going to actually take care of the middle class and the working people of this country – and that is what the Republicans have refused to do.

“Now regrettably we found out last week that even when Democrats said, ‘Look, we’re not going to vote for another short-term spending bill that continues to put us down this path of uncertainty, that doesn’t fund our priorities, that doesn’t pass the bills that we need to pass, that doesn’t govern our country the way it’s supposed to.’

“Even when faced with that, the Republicans said, ‘We don’t care. We’re still not going to do it. We’re not going to pass a budget, we’re not going to pass disaster relief, we’re not going to fix DACA, we’re not going to fix infrastructure, we’re not going to fix our health care plan.’

“So we hope that that will change. This latest stop-gap goes to February 8th, we’ll see what happens then.

“But the problem we have in this country right now is the Republicans who control the House, the Senate and the White House, flat out refuse to govern. They refuse to fix our health care system, they refuse to pass a budget, they refuse to take care of disaster relief. It is time we hold them accountable.

“And we can’t do it alone in Congress. So, I ask you, the American people to stand up and tell the Republicans to govern.

“We don’t need more short-term spending bills, we need a budget and we need a Congress and a White House that actually governs and leads this country.”

Any bolding has been added.

~

Leader Nancy Pelosi did not hold a formal press conference on Thursday but spoke to the press on Monday after the government reopened:

Her press release the next day summed up her response: Congressional Leaders Must Come Together Immediately to Finish Bipartisan Budget Agreement

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement calling for Congressional leaders to meet immediately to work toward a bipartisan budget agreement:

“Now that the Trump Shutdown has ended, Congressional leaders must come together immediately to finish the bipartisan negotiations that have been taking place for months to find agreement on a budget for the remainder of FY ‘18. We are now on the 4th stop-gap spending bill since September because of the incompetence of the Republican Majority, a situation which is deeply harmful to our military.

“Republicans have shamelessly misrepresented the plight of DREAMers. As Democrats continue to work to protect DREAMers in these negotiations, we are honoring our values as a country as a beacon of hope. However, if there had never been one DREAMer, we would still have our work cut out for us to reach a bipartisan budget agreement which honors our responsibilities to the American people.

“Unfortunately, there is a dark cloud over the Capitol because of the GOP tax scam. Republicans continue to use the $2 trillion increase to the national debt that the GOP tax scam created as an excuse to shortchange the domestic agenda. In our negotiations, Congressional Democrats have been fighting for a budget that increases funding for defense as well as domestic, bipartisan priorities, which we have proposed to the Republicans and sent to the President:

– Immediate action on the opioid epidemic;
– Funding for veterans’ infrastructure and services;
– Reauthorizing community health centers and other health extenders;
– Saving Americans’ endangered pensions;
– Protecting the DREAMers;
– Providing strong disaster recovery funding including Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and other victims of hurricanes and wildfires; and
– A budget that funds the military and the domestic investments that keep our nation strong.

“It is imperative that, with the next deadline coming in only a matter of weeks, the top Congressional leaders immediately come together to get the job done for the American people.”

~

Later in the week, the White House released a “new” immigration proposal. Leader Pelosi’s response is included here.

Pelosi Statement on White House Immigration Framework

Washington, D.C. — Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement following the White House’s latest immigration framework:

“The Administration’s anti-immigrant framework is an act of staggering cowardice which attempts to hold the DREAMers hostage to a hateful anti-immigrant scheme.

“The 50 percent cut to legal immigration in the framework and the recent announcements to end Temporary Protected Status for Central Americans and Haitians are both part of the same cruel agenda. They are part of the Trump Administration’s unmistakable campaign to make America white again.

“It is often said that America is great because America is good. We are a great country that has been blessed and reinvigorated with the faith and family values of generations of immigrants. That is why so many faith leaders, even those who support the President, have recognized that immigration strengthens our families, our churches and our communities.

The DREAMers will not be ransomed for a hateful agenda that betrays our sacred American values.”

~

  3 comments for “Fighting Back: “Republicans who control the House, the Senate and the White House are refusing to govern”

  1. JanF
    January 27, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Pelosi, Schumer Announce Democratic Responses to President Trump’s State of the Union Address

    Washington, D.C. – U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that Congressman Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s joint address to Congress next week. Leaders Pelosi and Schumer also announced that Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman will deliver the Spanish-language response to the speech. Delegate Guzman is a respected civic leader whose values-based message propelled her to victory in the recent Virginia elections, making her the first Hispanic female immigrant elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

    “Congressman Kennedy is a relentless fighter for working Americans,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “While President Trump has consistently broken his promises to the middle class, Congressman Kennedy profoundly understands the challenges facing hard-working men and women across the country. His leadership has been vital in educating a next-generation workforce, in creating good-paying manufacturing jobs and in expanding opportunities for the middle class.”

    “We are also proud to have the Democrats’ Spanish-language response delivered by Delegate Elizabeth Guzman of Virginia, a respected advocate and community leader who represents the best of our nation’s ideals,” Pelosi continued. “Driven by her faith and her belief in the promise of the American Dream, Elizabeth has been a vital, relentless leader for the voiceless.”

    “Whether it’s the repeated attempts to dismantle our health care system, jamming through tax cuts for the largest corporations and the wealthiest or repealing protections for consumers, women and the most vulnerable Americans, President Trump’s first year has been marred by his broken promises to the middle class,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “In their responses to the President’s address, Congressman Kennedy and Virginia Delegate Guzman will both do an excellent job in making clear that Democrats are laser-focused on enacting policies to benefit middle class Americans, not special interests or the wealthiest.”

    • JanF
      January 27, 2018 at 7:34 am

      Currently serving his third term, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, 37, has emerged as a powerful voice for social and economic justice. Joe has championed affordable health care, vocational education, a livable minimum wage and American manufacturing. As a member of the influential House Energy & Commerce Committee, Kennedy has been a leader on issues that range from mental health and addiction to medical research and rising energy costs. His opposition to President Trump’s health care plan garnered national attention, as have his efforts to reform this country’s badly broken mental health system. In Congress, he is a leading voice for LGBTQ equality, voting rights, civil rights and immigration reform. Prior to serving in Congress, Kennedy was an Assistant District Attorney in Massachusetts and a member of the Peace Corps in Latin America. He received his undergraduate degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and his law degree from Harvard. He is married to Lauren Birchfield Kennedy, a health policy expert. They live with their children, Eleanor and James, in Newton, Massachusetts.

    • JanF
      January 27, 2018 at 7:35 am

      Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, 44, came to the United States from Peru, looking for a better future for her oldest daughter. Through her love of learning, hard work and dedication, Guzman persevered through economic hardship and obtained her degree in Office Administration and Management from Northern Virginia Community College, while working three jobs. Guzman then obtained a Bachelor’s in Public Safety from Capella University, a Master’s in Public Administration from American University and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Today, in addition to representing Prince William and Fauquier Counties as a Delegate, Elizabeth is a Court Appointed Service Advocate. Guzman works as a Division Chief for Administrative Services for the Center for Adult Services in the Department of Community and Human Services for the City of Alexandria, providing programs and aging and support services for persons with mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities and substance use disorders. Guzman is a member of AFSCME Local 3001. She is the first Hispanic female immigrant to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. She is married to Carlos Guzman, a small business owner. They live with their children Pamela, Ivanna, Carlos and Hannah in Dale City, Virginia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *