The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread.
The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon.
(Rep. Peter DeFazio knows infrastructure is a critical piece of any effort to create quality, good-paying jobs. That’s why he fighting for #ABetterDeal to Rebuild America.)
The administration must offer an infrastructure plan that strengthens the commitment to the national transportation network by providing stable funding for more than a year. Trump’s plan is embarrassingly small. Democrats have announced a better deal to rebuild America. This infrastructure plan is five times bigger than his proposal. One trillion dollars to rebuild crumbling roads, schools, extend high-speed internet to every family in America. […] We must strengthen the federal commitment to the national transportation network of providing stable, long-term funding. If the president and congress are serious about prioritizing infrastructure, they have a unique opportunity to make badly needed investments. But they have been avoiding this for decades. Democrats are ready to get to work and deliver to the American people a better deal, jobs, wages and future.
(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)
(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)
Transcript from CSPAN, lightly edited: Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR) delivered the Democratic Weekly Address, giving his reaction to President Trump’s infrastructure proposal.
The federal commitment role in building our national infrastructure is as old as the country itself. The first president believed it was important to build the country from east and west. Dwight Eisenhower created and funded the interstate highway system, linking the nation like never before. It was important the federal government recognize the critical important in public transit systems. Congress had a vision of a national transportation system that binds the nation’s economic well-being, security, and people together. But the trump administration wants to abandon this bipartisan history to a national infrastructure network. We would expect the [vulgar talking yam] to release a plan that devolves public transportation to the pre-Eisenhower era, to encourage the selling off of roads, bridges, and transit systems to corporation. — to corporations. This system didn’t work. The Kansas Turnpike, for example. Oklahoma delayed the project for 18 months before the Eisenhower plan. The White House would take it back to this disjointed system. This shifts the burden to cash-strapped states and local governments. It would cut existing transportation programs to pay for Wall Street. It would cut bedrock, environmental, and clean air protections under the guise of cleaning up projects. This is another scam to privatize critical government functions and create windfalls for Wall Street. This proposal would not address serious infrastructure needs facing this country. Bridges and transit systems already dangerous — become more dangerous. Tolls become higher. The administration must offer an infrastructure plan that strengthens the commitment to the national transportation network by providing stable funding for more than a year.
Trump’s plan is embarrassingly small. Democrats have announced a better deal to rebuild America. This infrastructure plan is five times bigger than his proposal. One trillion dollars to rebuild crumbling roads, schools, extend high-speed internet to every family in America. These are American jobs that cannot be exported. Bridges need to be replaced. Building bridges means work for American citizens, engineers, architects. A public transportation system with a backlog of critical investment needs. And with federal transportation dollars comes from requirements to buy American manufacturing and jobs. This also supports small businesses owned by minorities and veterans. America back to work and to get America moving again.
We must strengthen the federal commitment to the national transportation network of providing stable, long-term funding. If the president and congress are serious about prioritizing infrastructure, they have a unique opportunity to make badly needed investments. But they have been avoiding this for decades. Democrats are ready to get to work and deliver to the American people a better deal, jobs, wages and future.
Any bolding has been added.
Leader Nancy Pelosi’s did not give a news conference on Thursday. She was probably resting from her 8 hour an 7 minute House floor speech!
Her office did share this information about the first 400 days of the 115th Congress.
400: Days since the start of this Republican Congress as of February 6, 2018
211: Days the GOP House has been in session, 56 of which were pro-forma days in which the House gaveled in & out in a matter of minutes & no legislative business was completed
ZERO: Number of bills that have been considered under an open rule so far this Congress. The 1st Session of the 115th Congress broke the record for most closed rules in a single congressional session and now the GOP Congress is well on its way to breaking the record for the most closed rules in an entire Congress
100: Percent of Republicans blocked a vote on the Pay Our Military Act (H.R. 4871), a bill to pay the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard during the January government shutdown and any potential future government shutdowns in FY 2018
$1.8 Trillion: Amount the GOP tax scam will add to the national debt over the next ten years, according to CBO, saddling our children with the bill for their debt-exploding tax giveaways to the wealthiest
83: Percent of the tax cuts in the GOP tax scam go to the wealthiest 1 percent by 2027 – putting corporations and the richest ahead of everyone else
86 million: Middle class families will see their taxes go up by 2027, as a result of the GOP tax scam
$1.3 trillion: Tax rate break for corporations in the GOP tax bill, in addition to more loopholes for special interests to exploit
$1.50: Amount per week Speaker Ryan bragged about handing to workers – at the same time his tax scam gives away billions and billions of dollars to corporations and the wealthiest
2: Percent of U.S. adults that say they have gotten a raise, bonus or other additional benefits due to the Republican tax scam
122: DACA recipients lose their protected status each day that Speaker Ryan and House Republican leaders refuse to pass the DREAM Act
20: Times House Republicans blocked a vote on H.R. 3440, the bipartisan DREAM act, which protects innocent DREAMers from the cruelty of deportation and gives them a path to citizenship (2017 Vote #442, 2017 Vote #457, 2017 Voice Vote; 2017 Vote #486; 2017 Vote #532; 2017 Vote #538; 2017 Vote #546; 2017 Vote #560; 2017 Vote #572; 2017 Vote #592; 2017 Vote # 616; 2017 Vote #626; 2017 Vote #704; 2018 Vote #9; 2018 Vote #20; 2018 Vote #47; 2018 Vote #58)
220: Republicans voted against protecting innocent religious workers from being ensnared by the GOP deportation dragnet and from classifying religious and humanitarian aid workers as gang members
42: House Republicans have signed onto H.R. 140 – an anti-immigrant bill ending birthright citizenship as guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment
69: Times House Republicans have voted to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act since 2011.
4: Times the House Republicans have voted so far this Congress to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act. (2017 Vote #58, 2017 Vote #256, 2017 Vote #557, 2017 Vote #589)
7: Times Republicans have voted for measures attacking women’s health care so far in this Congress, including votes to pass a dangerous, unconstitutional bill that would deny women care in certain life-threatening circumstances, to pass the disastrous Trumpcare bill that attacks women’s health in numerous ways such as defunding Planned Parenthood for a year, to place restrictions on how women can spend private dollars in purchasing health insurance, to cut access to the Title X family planning program, and to put politicians between women and their doctors 2017 Vote #65, 2017 Vote #99, 2017 Vote #256, 2017 Vote #518, 2017 Vote #528, 2017 Vote #549, 2018 Vote #36)
ZERO: Number of full committee hearings in either the House Homeland Security Committee or Committee on House Administration – both of which have jurisdiction over election security issues
194: Democrats have signed the discharge petition to force a vote on H.R. 356, to establish the National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election
7: Times Republicans have blocked a vote on a bill to require Presidents and candidates for President to disclose their tax returns (2017 Vote #62, 2017 Vote #103, 2017 Vote #199, 2017 Vote #217, 2017 Vote #224, 2017 Vote #263; 2017 Vote #290)
193: Democrats have signed the discharge petition to force a vote on H.R. 305, to amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to require any candidate of a major political party for the office of the President to submit their Federal income tax returns for the three most recent years
230: Republicans blocked a vote on a resolution to demand answers on the Trump Administration’s sprawling conflicts of interest and gross abuses of public trust
9: Times Republicans have voted to block bringing up a bill to create a bipartisan, independent, outside commission to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election (2017 Vote #26, 2017 Vote #88, 2017 Vote #93, 2017 Vote #115, 2017 Vote #197, 2017 Vote #204, 2017 Vote #259, 2017 Vote #288; 2017 Vote #600)
30: Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee voted against a measure to bar funding for security credentials for someone who is under investigation by a federal law enforcement agency for aiding a foreign government
$1.5 trillion: Cut in Medicare and Medicaid in the House GOP FY 2018 budget – jeopardizing care for seniors, children and low-income families
$100 billion: Cut in Pell Grants over ten years in the GOP budget – making college less affordable and less accessible for nearly 8 million working-class students
$37 billion: Cut in NIH biomedical research over the next ten years if the GOP budget’s unallocated nondefense discretionary cuts are implemented across the board
$6.5 billion: Cut in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), eliminating WIC nutrition assistance for 1.25 million women, infants and children over the next decade, if the GOP budget’s unallocated nondefense discretionary cuts are implemented across the board
235: House Republicans voted against prohibiting offenders from another state who have been convicted of a violent misdemeanor in the past three years from carrying a concealed weapon in a state where that conviction would otherwise disqualify them from carrying a concealed weapon in public
15: Seconds House Republican Leaders devoted on the House floor on the evening of October 2 in honor of the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas – less than 3/100th of a second per victim
ZERO: Number of House Republicans who have joined 176 Democrats in cosponsoring H.R. 3947, the Automatic Gunfire Protection Act – a bill to ban the manufacture, possession, transfer, sale or importation of bump stocks like the one used in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017
2: Times Republicans have voted to prevent an up-or-down vote to establish a bipartisan Select Committee on Gun Violence Prevention to study and report back common sense legislation within 60 days (2017 Vote #551; 2017 Vote #610)
229: Republicans voted to overturn a critical rule to make Brady background checks more effective and efficient, by ensuring the names of those prohibited from having guns under federal law are submitted to the background check system – despite 93 percent of Americans supporting these background checks
3: Times House Republicans blocked a vote on H.R. 685, the Bring Jobs Home Act, which ends tax breaks for corporations sending jobs overseas, and creates new incentives to create good-paying jobs here in the United States (2017 Vote #312, 2017 Vote #339, 2017 Vote #393)
2: Times Republicans voted to prevent a vote on H.R. 2510, a bill which creates new American jobs by providing direct investments in our broken wastewater infrastructure and encouraging innovative investments in clean water projects (2017 Vote #316, 2017 Vote #382)
234: Republicans blocked a vote on H.R. 2933, a critical bill that promotes effective apprenticeships that give students and workers the skills they need to find good-paying jobs
234: Republicans voted to prevent a vote on H.R. 2475, which creates millions of jobs by investing $100 billion in the physical and digital infrastructure needs of our schools
2: Times House Republicans voted against a “Made in America” amendment requiring that specific infrastructure and construction projects use materials and equipment made in the U.S.A. (2017 Vote #397, Congressional Record H6131)
100: Percent of Republicans voted against raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour within seven years
229: Republicans voted for a GOP anti-worker bait-and-switch bill that undermines the existing right to hard-earned overtime pay – giving employers the flexibility to substitute overtime pay with comp time, while giving employees no guarantee they can use their comp time when they need it
217: Republicans voted for the disastrous Trumpcare bill, which would have resulted in 23 million Americans losing their health insurance coverage, raised out-of-pocket health care costs for millions of American families, imposed a crushing age tax on those ages 50-64, shortened the life of the Medicare Trust Fund, gutted the protections for people with pre-existing conditions and defunded Planned Parenthood for a year
ZERO: Number of public hearings held on the House Republican-backed Trumpcare where lawmakers could have heard from outside experts on the implications and consequences of the bill, before it was reported to the House Floor
22-32 million: Number of Americans who would lose health coverage under the various iterations of Trumpcare, according to the nonpartisan CBO
5 Times: How much higher the premiums the GOP-backed Trumpcare would force older Americans in the individual market to pay, compared to what younger Americans pay for health coverage
233: Republicans voted against an amendment requiring Association Health Plans to provide coverage for substance abuse treatment as an essential health benefit even as communities across the nation struggle to combat the opioid epidemic
218: Republicans passed a bill to undermine the ability of victims of medical malpractice and the victims of defective or dangerous medical products to be made whole
233: Republicans voted to gut the Dodd-Frank Act’s Wall Street reforms, roll back key consumer protections and take us back to the pre-2008 era of unchecked, risky financial market abuses that resulted in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression
93: Percent of Republicans voted to allow Internet service providers to collect and sell Americans’ sensitive personal information without consent
3: Times Republicans blocked a vote on H.R. 1868, a bill that restores Americans’ right to privacy, by preventing Internet service providers from selling Americans’ most intimate personal information, without their knowledge or consent (2017 Vote #211, 2017 Vote #240, 2017 Vote #347)
4: Times House Republicans blocked bringing up a bill to rescind President Trump’s dangerous and unconstitutional Muslim and Refugee Ban (Congressional Record H717, 2017 Vote #68, 2017 Vote #70, 2017 Vote #74)
99: Percent of Republicans voted to block a vote on a bill to strengthen working families and the economy by ensuring access to paid sick leave
229: Republicans voted to block consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help close the gender wage gap, with women on average still earning only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men
224: Republicans voted to overturn, at the behest of corporate interests, a key rule to protect the drinking water, health and environment of the people of Appalachia who live near mountaintop removal mining sites, who have suffered elevated levels of lung cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, hypertension and birth defects
13: House Republicans have cosponsored legislation to eliminate the Department of Education (H.R. 899)
234: Republicans voted to strike a critical rule to uphold the accountability provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act, thereby undoing key protections for disadvantaged students
119: Republicans (a majority) voted in an internal House Conference meeting to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) before public outrage forced GOP leadership to change course
$84,000: Amount of U.S. taxpayer dollars GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold used to settle a sexual harassment dispute with his communications director in 2014. Congressman Farenthold has yet to pay back those funds despite telling reporters he would do so
$5 million: Amount GOP Rep. Trent Franks offered to women in his office to be a surrogate mother to his children. Congressman Franks resigned in December 2017