Fighting Back: Shutdown Redux “Republicans have once again revealed their utter incompetence in governing.”


The government is being funded with a Continuing Resolution that will expire on February 8th, next Thursday. No progress has been made on the issues that need to be resolved to come up with a plan to keep the government open.

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota.

(Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) delivers Weekly Democratic Party Address)

“Earlier this week, President Trump delivered his first official State of the Union address. It was my first State of the Union as well—I’ve only been a member of the Senate for a little over a month, so I was eager to hear the President’s ideas for how best to move our country forward,” said Senator Tina Smith (D-MN). “When it comes to bipartisanship, President Trump must match his deeds with his words. The challenges we face can only be met if we meet them together, not just as Democrats or Republicans. Mr. President, Democrats stand ready to work with you. But if you are unwilling to work with us in good faith, know that we won’t back down from the fight.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

Transcript will be posted when it is available.

News report: Newly sworn-in Minn. senator says Democrats willing to work ‘in good faith’ with Trump

ST. PAUL—U.S. Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota delivered the national Democratic weekly address one day short of a month in office.

The senator Gov. Mark Dayton appointed to replace Al Franken in Washington said in the video released Friday, Feb. 2, that she is open to working with Republicans. At the same time, she was critical of them.

“I do not see eye to eye with President (Donald) Trump and Republicans in Congress on many issues,” she said at the beginning of her three-minute talk. “But I firmly believe that people don’t send their elected representatives to Washington just to squabble; they send us here to get things done. So where we are able to identify areas of common ground, and where the president is willing to work in good faith, I and many of my colleagues stand ready to work with him.” […]

She also said she might support Trump’s plan to spend $1.5 trillion on infrastructure, such things as roads, schools and hospitals. “If the president commits to making a serious investment from the federal government, he’ll have a partner in me and many of my Democratic colleagues. But if the plan that President Trump and Republicans in Congress unveil is little more than a giveaway to giant companies that stand to make huge profits, you can count us out.”

Smith said that Trump talks a good game, but usually does not back up that with action. And, she said, he usually has left Democrats out of discussions.

“Mr. President,” Smith said, “Democrats stand ready to work with you. But if you are unwilling to work with us in good faith, know that we won’t back down from a fight.”

Any bolding has been added.


Leader Nancy Pelosi did not have a weekly news conference but met with the press following the State of the Union address.

Transcript: Transcript of Democratic leadership press conference

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Chairman Joseph Crowley and members of the House Democratic Leadership for a press conference following House Democrats’ Caucus meeting. Below are the Leader’s remarks:

Leader Pelosi: Thank you, Madam Vice Chair. I thank the Chairman [and] Vice Chair for calling a Caucus meeting. Who can soar with the eagles in the morning after hooting with the owls last night for a late night? And I commend all of you for doing both as well.

It was a transformative speech for some of us last night because our expectations for greatness and vision for the President are not high. He stooped to a new low in terms of how he dealt with issues. For example, the immigration issue and what it has meant to our country and how he characterized it. The opioid epidemic, which is, in every district in the country, a challenge for many families, a tragedy, and the President treated it in such a disdainful way. Actually, it is one of the items on the agenda that we are fighting for—increased funding for opioids in the discussion that we are having on the caps, on the parity issue on the budget.

Last night the President delivered a speech of unwarranted self-congratulatory comments. He acknowledged the courage, the sacrifice of the people in the audience as if he had something to do with the successes that they had achieved. Of course we all salute them. It is an interesting story, but more importantly, it is about the fabric of America that his speech was not about. Again, devoid of vision—so sad. The President presents this GOP tax scam as something to help the middle class, but at the same time his tax scam calls for 86 million middle class families to pay more as he pads the pockets of the top one percent.

The President represents himself as generous towards DREAMers, but he is holding them hostage with the most extreme anti-immigrant agenda in generations. We heard more insulting words of ignorance and prejudice towards patriotic immigrant families last night. I just remind you, and I have said this to his people, this is a first in a long time: President Reagan was great on immigration, he did more than Congress did after the Congress passed a bill. President George Herbert Walker Bush was great on immigration.

The two of them, with their executive orders, protected a higher percentage of people than President Obama did with his executive order. President Clinton, of course, President Obama, President George W. Bush—one of the best presidents in advocating for immigrants and what immigration means to America—could not convince his own party. And now a president in complete departure, complete departure of Republican presidents in modern times. Republican presidents are in the lead, taking us down a road—just red meat for the base.

The President presents himself as a man of big ideas and then he presents a lame, puny, infrastructure proposal, completely underestimating or ignoring the infrastructure challenges our country faces. $200 billion over 10 years—that is $20 billion a year—and he advertises it as a $1.5 trillion agenda. But again, giveaways to the private sector.

Meanwhile, President Trump is completely silent about Russia’s ongoing assault on our democracy and his administration’s outrageous refusal to impose sanctions. What is that about? What is that about? Overwhelmingly, what was it, more than 500 people voted for the sanctions against Russia? And the President is ignoring them. What do the Russians have on him—politically, personally, financially—that he would ignore his responsibility in that regard?

President Trump’s first year in office has been a wasted opportunity in meeting the needs of the American people. Again, he had an opportunity for unity and we always are hopeful for that. Instead of a hand of friendship, as some have said, he presented a clenched fist.

We were proud of our response. Congressman Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts did such a beautiful job in responding. Delegate Elizabeth Guzman of Virginia responded beautifully and officially on behalf of a Democratic point of view. Democrats believe that the American people deserve better than what the President talked about last night. They deserve A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Pay, a Better Future—and that is what we will be working on. I found it liberating—it freed me of my personal thoughts about the President. I said, ‘this is so much bigger than that, none of us can afford the luxury of minor disagreements. This is major.’ With that, I yield to our distinguished Whip, Mr. Hoyer.

Press questioning followed (see transcript)


On governing:

We always have a responsibility to find common ground in the minority or the majority, that’s our responsibility to the American people and when we can’t find it, we must stand our ground, that’s our responsibility to the American people as well. We are constantly open to finding solutions that meet the needs of the American people, but not to do so, that appeals to the lowest-common-denominator, but to do so, that appeals to a vision. A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Pay, Better Future. Who can disagree with that?


Pelosi Statement on CBO Report on GOP Tax Scam Accelerating Debt Limit Date

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office released a report advising Congress to raise the debt ceiling earlier than anticipated to account for lost revenue due to the GOP Tax Scam:

“Already, the dire effects of the GOP Tax Scam’s giveaways are being exposed. Far from paying for itself, as Republicans promised, the GOP’s fevered push to pad the pockets of corporations and the wealthiest one percent is exploding the deficit.

“With full control of the House, Senate and White House, Republicans have revealed their contempt for fiscal responsibility and their utter incompetence in governing.


  5 comments for “Fighting Back: Shutdown Redux “Republicans have once again revealed their utter incompetence in governing.”

  1. JanF
    February 3, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Yesterday, the Trump Administration issued its Nuclear Posture Review. The contents were alarming.

    Pelosi Statement on Trump Administration Nuclear Posture Review

    Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the Trump Administration released its Nuclear Posture Review, calling for an increase in warhead production:

    “The Trump Administration’s new nuclear policy risks an inconceivable human and moral crisis. Far from making our arsenal ‘so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression,’ the President’s pro-nuclear agenda risks triggering a crisis with North Korea and creating nuclear catastrophe.

    For decades, for Democrats and Republicans alike, non-proliferation has been a key pillar of our national security. As George Schultz, Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State, testified last week, ‘These weapons are immoral.’

    “Yet, President Trump is pushing a stunning reversal of our nation’s long-standing commitment to advance a nuclear-free future. After threatening the Iran Nuclear Agreement, jeopardizing the New START treaty and antagonizing nuclear-armed adversaries, Trump is now championing policies that would ramp up warhead production and threaten the lives of millions of innocent people around the globe.

    “The United States has an awesome responsibility to lead the world in non-proliferation. We must join together to ensure that future generations can live free from the fear of nuclear weapons. President Trump must immediately reject this reckless nuclear policy.”

  2. JanF
    February 3, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    • bfitzinAR
      February 3, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      Lyin’ Ryan is not only still drinking the Ayn Rand kool-aid, he’s stuck in her time period. I’m old enough to remember when $1.50 a week would have made a real difference to me & my family. He isn’t.

      • JanF
        February 4, 2018 at 12:35 pm

        Exactly, Bfitz! In my first Jan-supporting job I made $1.90 an hour which had to cover rent, food and gas to commute downtown. There were paychecks where I did not have enough to buy food and my lunches were the free saltine crackers in the break room at work.

        Ryan has no concept of earning a wage or struggling to make ends meet despite working 40 hours a week.

  3. February 4, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Goodness. Thanks for this post, Jan, one’s jaw is in a permanently dropped state nowadays.

    Bfitz, funny you should say that about the $1.50 a week. Just this morning I was recalling the early 1950s when a husband’s salary would support a stay-at-home wife and two children. Of course, there were labor unions in those days. It was a simpler time, too: I remember when milk was delivered, dry cleaning was picked up by a van, and a bookmobile visited once a week.

    Women hung their clothes to dry outside, families only had one car (my family had none), and the only steak we ever saw growing up was something called “cube steak.” My mother made delicious salmon croquettes from tinned salmon, and sometimes we had frankfurters stuck in the middle of corn muffins for dinner. We thought this was fine.

    Oh, and there were no such things as dishwashers, air conditioning, or separate bedrooms for each child. My family was in such straitened circumstances that we didn’t have bicycles, nor access to a swimming pool, except the one in the public park.

    It was a simpler time when people had less, but they seemed content. I don’t advocate a return to those times: my mother sat at the kitchen table and taught herself shorthand until she was able to go out and get a job when I was 12. Once she started earning, she became a power in our family, to the surprise of my autocratic father.

    And now my sons and their wives both work full time to support their rather nice houses and the cars that get them to work and back. Luckily, my husband and I are both retired and can step in to fill the gaps of the wild disconnect between the world of work and the world of public schools.

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