Fighting Back: “Democrats will always stand up for the truth.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Barbara Lee of California speaking about Black History Month and the work being done on the For The People agenda.

(Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, co-chair of the Steering and Policy Committee, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, Congresswoman Lee marked Black History Month and highlighted Democrats’ For The People agenda.)

“James Baldwin used to say: ‘I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.’ Leaving the House Chambers on Tuesday after the State of the Union, these words echoed in my head.

“We cannot believe what [the Republican’s president] says, because we see what he has done.

“So let me be clear: we will stand up for the truth. We have seen what he has done. And we will stand up for the American people – and for justice, for righteousness, and for truth. […]

Our agenda was written For the People, for all the people.

“It is an agenda built on radical truth, on the understanding that every American will benefit from fairer elections, lower health care costs, and higher wages. […]

“When African American women die in childbirth at nearly four times the rate of white mothers – there is more work to be done.

“When every day, across the nation, our neighbors, classmates, our loved ones are gunned down in senseless acts of violence – there is more work to be done.

“When children are once again snatched from their mothers’ arms as they come to our country – there is more work to be done.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Transcript (from YouTube):

“Hi, I’m Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and I’m proud to represent the beautiful 13th District of California in Congress.

“Every February, we celebrate Black History Month. “But this year is particularly meaningful, as we mark the 400th year since the first African slaves arrived on the shores of America.

“Families were separated, children were taken from their parents, and they entered into lives of bondage and unspeakable cruelty.

“From this painful history, African Americans have risen – to lead our nation, transform music and art, pioneer new inventions, and speak as the conscience of this country.

“I stand on the shoulders of Black leaders who spoke truth to power. “Visionaries like James Baldwin, a clear-eyed social critic who told the stories of disenfranchised African Americans.

“James Baldwin used to say: ‘I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.’

“Leaving the House Chambers on Tuesday after the State of the Union, these words echoed in my head.

“We cannot believe what President Trump says, because we see what he has done.

“He has sabotaged our health care system. Lined the pockets of billionaires at the expense of the poor. And presided over the most corrupt Administration in history.

“And after offering a lukewarm pledge of unity in his speech, he then turned around and threatened anyone who would hold him accountable.

“So let me be clear: we will stand up for the truth. We have seen what he has done. And we will stand up for the American people – and for justice, for righteousness, and for truth.

“Democrats will follow the Constitution. As one of three co-equal branches of government, Congress will be the check that this President so sorely needs.

“We will work For The People. In fact, we’ve already begun. “One of our top priorities is H.R. 1 – The For the People Act.

“This legislation would safeguard our democracy, expand voting rights protections, and rein in the corrosive influence of money in politics.

“We’re also tackling rising health care costs, because no one should have to choose between refilling their prescriptions or putting food on the table.

“And we’re working to raise wages for everyday families who are still struggling to get ahead, while billionaires hoard wealth at the very top. We will start by rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure and creating good-quality, good-paying jobs.

“Our agenda was written For the People, for all the people.

“It is an agenda built on radical truth, on the understanding that every American will benefit from fairer elections, lower health care costs, and higher wages.

“And this February, as we celebrate the Black truth-tellers and change-makers who have transformed this country, I am reminded that this work must continue.

“There are more chapters to be told, more battles to be won.

“When African American women die in childbirth at nearly four times the rate of white mothers – there is more work to be done.

“When every day, across the nation, our neighbors, classmates, our loved ones are gunned down in senseless acts of violence – there is more work to be done.

“When children are once again snatched from their mothers’ arms as they come to our country – there is more work to be done.

“Yes – there is more work to be done.

“Four centuries after the first slave ships came to the shores of Virginia, I sit in Congressional leadership as a black woman tasked with building a more perfect union, with liberty and justice for all.

“Thank you for honoring me with this solemn responsibility. I welcome it!

“And happy Black History Month.”

Any bolding has been added.

~

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conference from Thursday:

Transcript: Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference

Speaker Pelosi. Good morning. It was a big crowd at the prayer breakfast this morning, and lots of friends to see, so my apologies for running later today.

We’ve had quite a week. Here we are now one month into our Majority. Our committees are appointed. They have re-organized and they’re having hearings. To our For the People Agenda, we’ve started our hearings on lowering health care costs by reducing the cost of prescription drugs. That was one of our opening hearings yesterday. The Energy and Commerce Committee did, Appropriations, and Ed and Labor held hearings protecting the pre-existing condition benefit and reversing the GOP sabotage of the health care bill.

Part two of the For the People agenda – one was lower health care costs, the other was raising paychecks of America’s workers and by building the infrastructure of America. And [today], the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held its first hearing on investing in roads, bridges, mass transit, ports, airports, schools, water systems and energy grids. The Mayor of Los Angeles participated, and others with experience in this.

Again, number three of the For the People Agenda was H.R. 1, cleaning up corruption and restoring integrity in government. Yesterday, the second hearing was held on H.R. 1, which will reduce the role of big, dark money so that the people’s interest, not the special interest, will have a stronger voice.

In addition, we’ve had two hearings, really the first in eight years, on climate change, one in the Committee of Energy and Commerce, the first time they’ve had a hearing in eight years – Natural Resources as well – now that the Democrats are in the Majority. And I was pleased yesterday to appoint the Select Committee on Climate.

But before I go to that, I was very disappointed that in the State of the Union address, there was no mention on violence in our country caused by the proliferation of guns. And we have our H.R. 8, which we will be bringing to the Floor. We had our hearing this week on that legislation. It will be marked up, and it will be sent to the Floor, hopefully this month.

Yesterday, as I mentioned, I appointed the Select Committee on Climate. There’s lots of excitement. I said the Select Committee will have a leading role in taking testimony, building current information on solutions to the climate crisis. But it would be a Congress-wide initiative.

As I mentioned, two of our committees have already – subcommittees have already had hearings, but we hope it will be – all of the committees of jurisdiction will be very involved in it. And that’s the impression that I have. There’s all kinds of ideas coming forward. We welcome all of them as they highlight the importance of this existential threat to the planet.

In our committee, the work will be to address, to find solutions. It’s not a legislative committee. It will be – its recommendations, as other recommendations, will be referred to the committees of jurisdiction – legislative committees of jurisdiction.

But it’s a public health issue: clean air, clean water for our children. It’s a national security issue when it comes to preventing climate driven instability. It’s an economic and jobs, jobs, jobs issue. Make good-paying jobs, making America – keeping America preeminent in green technologies in the world. And it is, in my view, a moral responsibility, if you believe as do I that this planet is God’s creation, and we have a moral responsibility to be good stewards of it.

Or if you don’t share that religious view but you just understand that we have a generational moral responsibility to pass the planet on to the next generation in the best possible way, then it has that standing as well.

So it’s health, security, jobs, jobs, jobs and, again, preserving God’s creation.

It is – topic at hand, of course, the conference that is going on now to pass legislation that will, again, keep government open. I don’t think that is a question. But anyway, to protect our borders as we protect our values.

I have confidence in the appropriators, not because I know what they’re doing, but because I have confidence in the appropriations process, being an appropriator myself, knowing left to their own devices, as I’ve said over and over again, that the appropriators, in a bipartisan way, and a bicameral way, House and Senate, can come to a fair conclusion, which I would support.

I have asked the Administration to be as non-interventionist as I am on that. Just let them do their work. And hopefully that will – we will get some good news in a short period of time, and certainly in time for the deadline, February 15.

Any questions?

Press questioning followed (see transcript)

~

More House Committee assignments from the Speaker’s Office:

Pelosi Names Members of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi today named Democratic Members to serve on the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

“The American people have spoken, and demanded bold action to take on the climate crisis, which is the existential threat of our time,” said Speaker Pelosi. “We are thrilled to welcome so many visionary leaders and strong voices to our new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which will be vital in advancing ambitious progress for our planet. Each Member brings great energy and deep expertise to the climate crisis, which jeopardizes our public health, our economy, our national security and the whole of God’s creation.”

“Congresswoman Castor is a proven champion for public health and green infrastructure, who deeply understands the scope and seriousness of this threat,” Speaker Pelosi said. “Her decades of experience in this fight, both in Florida and in the Congress, where she has been an outstanding leader on the Energy and Commerce Committee and on the House Democratic Environmental Message Team, will be vital.”

“This new Select Committee will spearhead Democrats’ work to develop innovative, effective solutions to prevent and reverse the climate crisis. It will generate the energy and action required to permanently reduce pollution so that we can honor our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations,” continued Speaker Pelosi. “This Committee’s strong and urgently-needed oversight and investigatory actions will be critical to the entire Congress’s work to protect our public health with clean air, clean water and public lands and uphold our sacred moral responsibility to leave a healthy, sustainable future for generations to come, while making America preeminent in green technologies with the good-paying, green jobs of the future.”

A list of members, along with brief biographies, is at the link.

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  5 comments for “Fighting Back: “Democrats will always stand up for the truth.”

  1. JanF
    February 9, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Pelosi Floor Speech Honoring the Late Congressman John David Dingell, Jr.

    Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives to honor former Congressman and Dean of the House, John Dingell. Below are the Speaker’s remarks: (edited for clarity)

    Last night our nation lost a beloved pillar of this Congress and one of the greatest legislators in American history.

    Every chapter of Chairman John Dingell’s life was lived in service to our country, from his time as a House page, as a teenager, to his time in World War II, to almost six decades of serving the people of Michigan in the U.S. Congress.

    John Dingell leaves a towering legacy of unshakeable strength, boundless energy and transformative leadership.

    Chairman Dingell had a hand in crafting many major legislative accomplishments over the past half century. Yet, among the vast array of historic legislative achievements, few hold greater meaning than his tireless commitment to the health of the American people.

    During every Congress since 1955, Chairman Dingell introduced legislation to secure affordable, quality health care for all Americans. Because of his father’s legacy and his own leadership, in 1965, he gaveled Medicare into law. In 2010, it was my privilege to hold that same gavel as we passed the Affordable Care Act.

    Chairman Dingell was our distinguished Dean and Chairman, our legendary colleague and a beloved friend. His memory will stand as an inspiration to all who worked with him or for him, or had the pleasure of knowing him.

    His leadership will endure in the lives of millions of American families he touched. We hope it is a comfort to Chairman Dingell’s beloved wife, dear Deborah, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and their entire family that so many people mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time.

  2. JanF
    February 9, 2019 at 7:42 am

    More on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis from AP:

    It does not yet have office space, staff or even Republican members, but Florida Rep. Kathy Castor is confident that a special House committee on climate change will play a leading role on one of the most daunting challenges facing the planet.

    Castor, who chairs the new panel, says those early obstacles can be overcome as lawmakers move to reduce carbon pollution and create clean-energy jobs.

    The Democratic caucus is unified under the belief we have to take bold action on the climate crisis,” Castor said in an interview.

    While that can take many forms, the transition to renewable energy such as wind and solar power is “job one,” she said.

    Castor, who’s in her seventh term representing the Tampa Bay area, said Congress has a “moral obligation” to protect future generations from the costly effects of climate change, including more severe hurricanes, a longer wildfire season and a dangerous sea-level rise.

  3. JanF
    February 9, 2019 at 7:49 am

    A comment from Nancy Pelosi’s Thursday presser about tRump’s projection:

    Q: The President says your committees are going ‘nuts,’ that it amounts to unlimited Presidential harassment. Is there any concern that you’re in danger of appearing like you’re overreaching?

    Speaker Pelosi. Let me just say that I’m going to make it a rule, you don’t have to come if you don’t want to, but I am not commenting on what the President has to say about our work.

    I always think that whatever the President says about us, he’s projecting his own unruliness. He’s a projector, and that’s what it’s about.

    I’m very proud of the work of our committees. Even the Republicans have complimented the committees on being wise in how they proceed in terms of subpoenas and the rest. We will not surrender our constitutional responsibility for oversight. That would make us delinquent in our duties.

    So, I’m not going to respond to any characterization or mischaracterization of the President who – I am just not going there – but I do think if he’s using the word “unruly,” it’s a projection of his own administration.

  4. bfitzinAR
    February 9, 2019 at 10:58 am

    There’s so much and so little having just the House can do. But we’re doing what can be done and are acting as a “storm anchor” for the rest. Deplorables v. Decents – thus is it ever. Holding the Good Thought for enough Decents getting in power to steer us away from the rocks. The Ship of State is currently heading straight for them. The storm anchor can slow us down but only having at least both houses of Congress can change our course.

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