Fighting Back: “Democrats are taking action to make sure our communities and our nation are safer.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Lucy McBath from Georgia and explains the work she and House Democrats are doing to pass commonsense gun safety legislation.

(Congresswoman Lucy McBath of Georgia shared her family’s tragic story of gun violence and explained the work she and House Democrats are doing to pass commonsense gun safety legislation.)

“This coming week, H.R.8 the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 will come to Floor of the House for a vote. This historic, bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation will ensure background checks for all gun sales, including unlicensed gun dealers.

“The overwhelming, bipartisan support for universal background checks symbolizes the power of advocacy and the incredible power of the survivors, family members and students who have shared their stories as they advocate for commonsense gun safety solutions and demand that we act to address gun violence.

House Democrats are taking action to make sure our communities and our nation are safer.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Transcript: Congresswoman Lucy McBath Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Lucy McBath of Georgia delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, the Congresswoman shared her family’s tragic story of gun violence and explained the work she and House Democrats are doing to pass commonsense gun safety legislation, beginning next week with H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act.

“Hi, I’m Congresswoman Lucy McBath and I’m proud to represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

“There have never been more women or people of color in Congress and I’m honored to be a part of this historic freshman class. I proudly serve on both the Judiciary and Education [and] Labor Committees.

“This coming week, H.R.8 the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 will come to Floor of the House for a vote. This historic, bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation was introduced by Mike Thompson and was co-sponsored by myself and many of my colleagues. The bill will ensure background checks for all gun sales, including unlicensed gun dealers.

“As many of you may know, gun violence is an issue that is deeply personal for me. In 2012, my son Jordan Davis was shot and killed by a man who opened fire on a car of unarmed teenagers at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. My son Jordan was 17 years old. Jordan would have turned 24 this past weekend.

“After my son’s death, I dedicated my life to advocating for commonsense gun safety solutions. But, it was the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last year that finally motivated me to run for Congress.

“The pain of losing a child to gun violence never ends. It is that pain which drives my work to prevent gun violence.

“These stories are vitally important as we work to pass commonsense gun safety legislation to keep families like ours from experiencing the horror and the heartbreak brought on by gun violence.

“The overwhelming, bipartisan support for universal background checks symbolizes the power of advocacy and the incredible power of the survivors, family members and students who have shared their stories as they advocate for commonsense gun safety solutions and demand that we act to address gun violence.

“House Democrats are taking action to make sure our communities and our nation are safer.

“We need commonsense legislation to prevent gun violence and ensure that mothers and fathers have one less reason to worry. This gives students one less thing to fear when they walk into school. Most importantly, it makes our communities and our nation a safer place to live.

“Thank you.”

Any bolding has been added.

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi did not hold a weekly news conference on Thursday as the House was in recess.

Here are some House Speaker news releases related to the Republican president’s power grab.

Pelosi Remarks at Press Call on Introduction of Privileged Resolution to Terminate President Trump’s Emergency Declaration

February 23, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Joaquin Castro hosted a press call following the introduction of Congressman Castro’s privileged resolution to terminate President Trump’s emergency declaration proclamation, which undermines the separation of powers and Congress’s power of the purse, a power exclusively reserved by the text of the Constitution to the Legislative branch. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Congressman Castro. Thank you, everybody. Thank you for joining us on this very important topic today. Not too long ago this morning I filed H.J. Res 46, the privileged resolution that will give the Congress the opportunity to vote on terminating the national emergency declaration that President Trump declared to fund his border wall.

I want to give you some context and background to this and how it came about. About six weeks ago, when it was rumored the President might declare a national emergency for such a purpose, my staff and I began working with legislative counsel to figure out the best way to make sure Congress could take a vote on this issue, and potentially terminate the resolution. H.J. Res 46 is the product of those six weeks of work. What the President is attempting is an unconstitutional power grab.

He has, throughout his Presidency, sought to undermine the Judiciary and now the Legislative branches of government. This is an historic power grab, and it will require historic unity by Members of Congress, liberal and conservative, to counteract the President’s parasitic movement.

The reason that I have a strong interest in this, as I know everyone in Congress does, is because, for one, I’m the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Hispanic Caucus Members represent every single district across the U.S.-Mexico border except district 23, Congressman Will Hurd’s district in Texas. Congressman Hurd himself has been very clear that there’s no need for a border wall, and that a border wall is inappropriate on the U.S.-Mexico border.

I also represent the Texas Democrats, I’m the Chair of the Texas Democrats. Texas has the longest border with Mexico, roughly 12,000 miles, larger than any state in the nation. So, this is obviously very consequential both for Members of the Hispanic Caucus and for Texas Democrats and all Americans.

And I want to say a very special thank you to Speaker Pelosi for all of her leadership and her hard work on this, she has helped marshal support for the resolution. Right now I believe that we’re at about 226 or 227 co-sponsors, including one Republican, Justin Amash. I look forward to gaining more support as the days go on.

I should also mention that there are big implications for military funding. My city, San Antonio, is known as Military City USA. We have joint base San Antonio, a large military installation here. Funding could potentially be cut for projects at Joint Base San Antonio, as well as other Texas installations at Fort Bliss and the Red River Army Depot. The same could be said for states with military installations across the country if President Trump is successful in taking money from the military and military construction projects to fund his border wall.

It should also be said that there is no emergency at the border. Border crossings are at a decades low. We have more resources committed to the border than we have ever had in our nation’s history when you look at the federal, state and local resources that have been committed to the border.

So, I hope that Members of Congress, regardless of party, will put their country above any political party, stand together united, against what is a power grab by this president. And with that I’ll be happy to take some questions. But before that, of course we’ll turn it over to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much Congressman Castro for hosting this call this morning, more importantly for your leadership.

We already know that the President has gone outside the law to get what he failed to achieve in the Constitutional legislative process. I thank you for your leadership in the state legislature and Congress for more than 15 years, from Texas. You know the territory.

I thank you for your keeping America strong and safe on the Intelligence Committee, on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and measuring the strength of our country and the education of our young people on the Education and Labor Committee. And for your leadership as chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Your speaking for so many Members of Congress from Texas on the impact of the President’s action is very important.

I am going to speak to the President’s action in terms of the Constitution of the United States and the oath of office we take to protect and defend the American people. That Constitution begins with the beautiful preamble to the Constitution. As soon as the preamble ends, Article 1, the legislative branch proceeds. The first branch of government, the legislative branch, co-equal to the other branches of government – the Executive and the Judicial. Imbued with powers, in the text of the Constitution, one of them being the power of the purse.

The President is lawless and does violence to our Constitution, and therefore, our democracy. His declaration strikes at the heart of our Founder’s concept of America which demands separation of powers.

The President’s declaration clearly again violates the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse. This power is again, reserved by the text, I repeat, by the text of the Constitution.

The President’s emergency declaration fundamentally alters the balance of power, violating our Founder’s vision for America – part of that vision being that we do not have a monarch. We have a separation of powers in our country. They rebelled against a monarchy. They did not intend to establish one in our country.

Our privileged resolution will restore our system of checks, will reassert our system of checks and balances in our constitutional responsibility imbued in the Congress.

This issue transcends partisan politics. This isn’t about politics, it isn’t about partisanship – it’s about patriotism. That’s why I wrote a letter about this resolution, Mr. Castro’s resolution, to all Members. ‘Dear Colleague’ not ‘Dear Democratic Colleague’ – ‘Dear Colleague’ just to say this is an institutional assault. We have a duty to protect and defend the Constitution, that constriction is the institution of the Congress of the United States, we should do everything in our power to strengthen the institution in which we serve and not weaken it.

We continue to urge Republicans in Congress to continue to uphold the Constitution to defend our system of checks and balances – I cannot say it enough. But I do say that the President is not about the law, in any way. And this action that he is taking, he is circumventing the Constitution of the United States and in doing so does violence to it.

Where we go from here is under the leadership of Mr. Castro and again I thank him for making us ready. The minute it happened we were ready because of his leadership. Mr. Castro’s resolution will go the Rules Committee on Monday evening. On Tuesday, we will bring the rule for bringing up this resolution to the Floor it would be our plan on the same day to vote on the resolution.

With that, we would be pleased to take any questions you may have.

Press questioning at the link.

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Speaker Pelosi had encouraged all members to co-sponsor the legislation and 236 members eventually did.

Dear Colleague: All Members Encouraged to Cosponsor Congressman Castro’s Privileged Resolution to Terminate President Trump’s Emergency Declaration

February 21, 2019

Dear Colleague,

President Trump’s emergency declaration proclamation undermines the separation of powers and Congress’s power of the purse, a power exclusively reserved by the text of the Constitution to the first branch of government, the Legislative branch, a branch co-equal to the Executive.

I write to invite all Members of Congress to cosponsor Congressman Joaquin Castro’s privileged resolution (text attached) to terminate this emergency declaration using the termination mechanism within the National Emergencies Act (NEA), which will be introduced Friday. The House will move swiftly to pass this bill, reporting it out of committee within 15 calendar days and considering it on the Floor within 3 calendar days following that, pursuant to the NEA. After House passage, the resolution will be referred to the Senate and then sent to the President’s desk.

All Members take an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution. The President’s decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated. We have a solemn responsibility to uphold the Constitution, and defend our system of checks and balances against the President’s assault.

Please contact Ben Thomas in Congressman Castro’s office if you agree to cosponsor or have questions. The deadline to be an original cosponsor of this resolution is Thursday, February 21 at 3 p.m. EST.

Thank you for your immediate consideration.

best regards,

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Earlier in the week, Speaker Pelosi was with a Congressional Delegation in Europe meeting with allies and NATO leaders.

Pelosi, Congressional Delegation Conclude Visit to NATO Headquarters, European Commission, Belgium & Munich Security Conference

Brussels – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement at the conclusion of two days of high-level Congressional delegation meetings with NATO leadership and allied nation representatives, senior European Commission and Belgian leaders, following another two days of participation at the Munich Security Conference:

“Our delegation’s visit came at a critical time for the United States, NATO and the European Union.

“At the Munich Security Conference, we held bilateral meetings and discussions with key allies and international representatives on pressing global security issues. In Belgium, we heard directly from NATO leadership and our EU partners about the critical security challenges facing our nation, from Russian aggression to international terrorism to cyber threats.

“We were privileged to join the opening session of the Permanent Representatives to the North Atlantic Council and honored by the warm welcome the bipartisan U.S. delegation received as we engaged with the allies represented in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

“In our meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, we discussed the importance of maintaining NATO to succeed in the collective defense and deterrence mission of the Alliance.

“With the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, we spoke candidly about the global security challenges facing our nations and the importance of partnership rooted in trust to effectively counter terrorist threats.

“Meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, we discussed the need for values-based leadership and the importance of protecting human rights and democratic principles, and fighting anti-Semitism. Our far-ranging meeting covered critical regional, economic and energy security questions facing Europe, and the challenges and opportunities of EU expansion.

“With High Representative Federica Mogherini we discussed the U.S. and EU working together on trade and defense initiatives, human rights around the globe, and a democratic and peaceful resolution to the crisis in Venezuela.

“Our delegation will return to Washington strengthened by the first-hand information and knowledge we have gathered on this trip.”

POLITICO had more on the trip: POLITICO: Nancy Pelosi to Europe: Trump is not the boss

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants Europe to know who’s really boss in Washington — and it isn’t President Donald Trump.

Pelosi and a delegation of U.S. lawmakers were in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday to reassure European partners at a time when transatlantic relations have been deeply fractured by Trump’s criticism of allies and his unpredictability in policymaking.

Among the messages that Pelosi said she brought to the EU capital was that the U.S. president is not all-powerful. Of course, it was a lesson Europeans watched her teach Trump in the standoff over a recent government shutdown — where she forced the president to back down.

“We’re not a parliamentary government even though we’re parliamentarians,” Pelosi said at a news conference. “We have Article 1, the legislative branch, the first branch of government, coequal to the other branches and we have asserted ourselves in that way.”

More at the link.

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  3 comments for “Fighting Back: “Democrats are taking action to make sure our communities and our nation are safer.”

  1. JanF
    February 23, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Most Americans are against the Republican president’s emergency declaration.

    NEW POLL: More Than 60 Percent of Americans Disapprove of Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

    The American people have spoken.

    According to a new NPR/PBS/Marist Poll:

    More than 60 percent of Americans disapprove of President Trump’s national emergency declaration.
    58 percent of Americans do not believe there is a “crisis” at the southern border and that Trump is misusing his presidential authority.

    And now, 16 states are suing President Trump over his unlawful breach of executive power, just to make good on a campaign applause line.

    By stealing billions from high-priority military construction projects that support our troops, the president and his administration are making America less safe and forcing military families to foot the bill for his ineffective, wasteful wall.

    No one is above the law. Republicans must join Democrats to uphold the Constitution and stand with the American people – against the President’s brazen assault.

  2. JanF
    February 23, 2019 at 10:51 am

    ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE

    Senator Kamala Harris was in New Hampshire on Tuesday, February 19th:

    Text from closed captioning is available at the CSPAN link.

  3. bfitzinAR
    February 23, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Kamala Harris is hitting all my points – except I wish she’d can it on the M4A. Either that or get real solid with a definition that makes it comprehensive and affordable as well as universal. Medicare as it stands is neither no matter what mythology people who are not on it try to pretend. Wasn’t happy with the “living longer” comment either. No we’re not. Not those of us under the median income. We’re losing ground. And BIPOC are losing ground faster than lower-income white people. I like Harris and thus far she’s got my money and will have my vote – if nothing changes – but in her call to speak Truth about things, she needs to get out of truthiness and back to Truth on healthcare.

    And I’m still waiting for someone to address quality of healthcare. As long as we have a disconnected system where “Dr God” decides what, if anything, is wrong with a person without listening to any of her input and nobody is checking the various tests, medications, etc against each other it doesn’t matter who pays for it. People, mostly women but not totally of course, will continue getting dead at way too high a rate. Like my mother or Tricia or swampyankee or…

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