Fighting Back: “Thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s time for action.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Jim McGovern, calling out Mitch McConnell, the vile man who is bursting with pride over his legislative graveyard – while mothers are literally burying their children.

(Congressman Jim McGovern urged Leader McConnell call the Senate back into session and take up House-passed, commonsense, bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation that will save lives following the deadly shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton.)

“America is the only developed country in the world where massacres like these happen on a regular basis.

“President Trump and Republicans can blame video games or mental illness all they want. Other countries play video games and deal with mental illness, but only here, in America, have mass shootings become the new normal. I wish they would just tell the truth: this is about guns.

“You know, in many states, it’s easier to get a gun than it is to register to vote. And weapons of war can be bought in virtually the blink of an eye – without a background check.

“This isn’t by accident. The gun lobby has spent millions bankrolling their allies in Congress so they can slash any kind of sensible gun safety laws.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Transcript: Congressman Jim McGovern Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

“Hi, I’m Congressman Jim McGovern and I’m grateful to represent the people of Massachusetts’ Second Congressional District in Congress.

“Our country is still reeling from mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Our hearts break for the victims, for their families, and everyone who has been impacted by this violence.

“We’ll learn more about these horrific acts in the days and weeks to come. But here’s what we already know: thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s time for action.

“America is the only developed country in the world where massacres like these happen on a regular basis.

“It seems like any time a family member leaves home, we’re left to wonder if we’ll ever see them again.

“Whether it’s at a movie theater, a concert, their elementary school, their church, or their synagogue. No place seems safe. It has to stop. Now.

“President Trump and Republicans can blame video games or mental illness all they want. Other countries play video games and deal with mental illness, but only here, in America, have mass shootings become the new normal. I wish they would just tell the truth: this is about guns.

“You know, in many states, it’s easier to get a gun than it is to register to vote. And weapons of war can be bought in virtually the blink of an eye – without a background check.

“This isn’t by accident. The gun lobby has spent millions bankrolling their allies in Congress so they can slash any kind of sensible gun safety laws.

“Look, I wish this issue wasn’t political – that Democrats and Republicans in Congress could all agree with the overwhelming majority of Americans that want tougher gun laws. But you deserve to know the truth.

“It has been five months since the Democratic House passed a pair of commonsense bills that would simply close a loophole and ensure comprehensive background checks on gun sales and transfers. Five Months!

“And what has the Republican Senate done under Mitch McConnell? No hearings. No debates. No votes. Nothing.

“Mitch McConnell ought to call the Senate back into session right now and pass the Gun Safety bills which have been sitting on his desk for five months. But instead, he’d rather keep taking the NRA’s blood money in exchange for his silence.

“All the while, Republicans wait for another tweet from the President to distract the American people and change the topic.

“Well, I’ve got news for Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate: the American people have been down this road before. What’s different now is that this House Majority is not bought and paid for by the gun lobby.

“Mitch McConnell may take pride in the Senate being called a legislative graveyard. But mothers are burying their kids. And babies are growing up without their parents. And the days of inaction are over.

“While Republicans refuse to do any work at all to end gun violence, they seem to be working overtime to undermine and sabotage the Affordable Care Act.

“Right now, a lawsuit filed by the Trump Administration is working its way through the courts. If it’s successful, the entire Affordable Care Act could be struck down.

“Think about that. If President Trump gets his way, 2.3 million young people would be kicked off their parents’ plans, insurance companies would be allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and asthma, and insurance CEOs would be able to use your premiums to pay for their bonuses instead of your health care. It would be catastrophic.

“That’s why on day 1 of our new majority, we voted to throw the full legal weight of the House of Representatives against this lawsuit.

“House Democrats have also passed and sent to the Senate strong bills to strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions even further.

“And we’ve passed five bills that confront big pharma’s unfair practices that keep drug prices high and prevent lower-cost generic versions of drugs from getting to the market.

“You know, for most people, this is just common-sense stuff. I’ve held over a dozen town halls over the last year, and I hear the same stories over and over again.

“Seniors who can’t afford their medications, so they split pills or skip a dose altogether. Doctors and nurses who are worried about what will happen if they can’t provide their patients the care they need. People with pre-existing conditions like cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure who have no idea what they would do if they were denied or dropped by their insurance when they need it the most.

“As Members of Congress, we weren’t elected just to hear people’s problems – we were sent here to solve them.

“While Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate continue to sit on their hands, I am proud that House Democrats are taking action on behalf of the American people.

“From combating gun violence, to protecting people with pre-existing conditions, to lowering the cost of prescription drugs, we will continue working For The People to deliver a safer, healthier future for all Americans.”

Any bolding has been added.

~

The House is in their August recess so there was no Thursday news conference by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. She sent a letter to her colleagues regarding gun violence and the status of various investigations.

Dear Colleague on House Democrats’ Leadership to Combat Gun Violence and Further Action to Legislate, Investigate and Litigate

August 7, 2019

Dear Democratic Colleague,

Today, the President said, “I think background checks are important. I don’t want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable or people with rage or hate, sick people. I’m all in favor of it.” As our nation mourns the loss of life from the gun violence of the past week, House Democrats are moving prayerfully and purposefully to advance action to address the national and personal security threat of white supremacy, domestic terrorism and gun violence in America.

Today, Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson sent a letter, signed by 214 House Democrats, urging Senator McConnell to call the Senate back into session to pass the Bipartisan Background Check Act (H.R. 8) and the Enhanced Background Checks Act (H.R. 1112), which the House passed in February. To address the domestic terrorism of white supremacy that challenges the very character of America, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson has sent Members his action plan that continues his long-standing leadership fighting domestic terrorism. I urge you to reference the press release his office sent yesterday evening, which details the actions his Committee is taking. Finally, the Judiciary Committee led by Chairman Jerry Nadler will continue to advance further possible committee action during the District Work Period on other gun violence prevention legislation, including an Extreme Risk Protection Order bill.

At the same time, I am grateful for the progress that our Members continue to make to “Own August,” both in their districts and on social media, to make our issues too hot to handle for Senate Republicans to block. We must continue to accelerate a drumbeat across America For The People: highlighting the extraordinary progress made in our transformative first 200 days and in the days to come to lower health costs, increase paychecks and clean up corruption in Washington.

On the legislative front, in regards to the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement, I am proud of the ongoing work of the Members on our USMCA Working Group led by Chairman Richie Neal. Top Democrats have made the priorities and concerns that need to be addressed in the proposed trade agreement clear to the Administration. That includes strong labor standards to defend the jobs and wages of American workers, lower prescription drug costs, meaningful environmental protections and the overarching need for real, tough enforcement mechanisms. The Working Group continues to be in direct communication with the Administration during the district work period.

On the litigation front, Chairman Nadler will file a complaint in court today to enforce a subpoena to compel former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify before the Committee as part of its investigation into obstruction, corruption and abuse of power by President Trump and his associates. This follows the significant step taken last week when Chairman Jerry Nadler filed a petition to obtain the grand jury testimony underlying the Mueller report, for the House to ‘have access to all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article I powers, including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity — approval of articles of impeachment.’ No one is above the law.

Thank you for your compassion, conviction and courage as we work together to advance progress For The People.

~

Also this week: Pelosi Statement on the 54th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

August 6, 2019

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement to mark the 54th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law on August 6, 1965:

“Fifty-four years ago, our nation addressed generations of systemic injustice and blatant discrimination when President Johnson signed the landmark Voting Rights Act into law. Yet, despite this historic progress, voter suppression remains a shameful, shocking reality in America today, undermining the sacred right of all Americans to be heard at the ballot box.

“The disastrous Shelby v. Holder decision unleashed a brazenly partisan voter suppression campaign, enabling extreme gerrymandering, disgraceful voter purges, restrictive absentee voting deadlines and excessive voter ID laws that are silencing the voices of American voters, particularly communities of color. To protect and build on the promise of the VRA, House Democrats have introduced H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act to strengthen the VRA’s ability to combat voter discrimination. At the same time, the vote is being jeopardized by the ongoing threat of foreign attacks on our election systems, which undermine this core pillar of our democracy. Countless Americans have fought, marched and given their lives to safeguard and expand the right to vote, and we must continue to ensure that every American, in every community can continue to exercise their right without interference or discrimination.

“This year, our Democratic Majority took decisive action to uphold our democracy by passing H.R. 1, the For The People Act to ensure equal access to the ballot, modernize voter registration and fight voter suppression, and by passing the SAFE Act to protect the integrity of our election systems, require paper ballots and strengthen America’s defenses against foreign attacks. As we mark this momentous anniversary, we call on Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to end his outrageous obstruction, protect our democracy and pass these critical bills. We will continue to fight against those at home and abroad who seek to undermine our elections and our right to vote, as we recommit ourselves to building a more just and equal future for all.”

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  2 comments for “Fighting Back: “Thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s time for action.”

  1. JanF
    August 10, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Remind people every day that THIS is the future Republicans want. Run on health care in 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028 for as long as it take for affordable health care to be available to everyone in America.

    Pelosi Statement on GOP Pledge to Destroy ACA if Republicans Win White House in 2020

    August 9, 2019

    Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after Senator Lindsey Graham promised that Republicans will make repealing the Affordable Care Act a top priority if Republicans win the White House in 2020:

    “Again and again, Republicans make perfectly clear what GOP control of Washington means for families: soaring costs, worse coverage and the end of life-saving protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Americans’ quality, affordable health care will never be safe with Republicans in power.

    “From Day One, the Trump Administration and Senate Republicans have sabotaged hard-working families’ health care. Republicans continue to work to push families into shoddy junk plans and spike their health costs, while also fighting in the courts to take away not only protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but every last protection and guarantee of affordable health care.

    “In stark contrast, House Democrats have been relentless in our fight for families’ health care, sending the Senate ten bills to lower health costs and prescription drug prices, reverse the GOP’s health care sabotage and strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The American people elected a Democratic Majority that would fight For The People – and that is exactly what we will continue to do.”

  2. JanF
    August 17, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Here are Senate Democrats, a week later, suggesting that “thoughts and prayers aren’t enough” and that “we need action.” You know what? Suggesting that “thoughts and prayers aren’t enough and that we need action” isn’t enough, either. Do something – anything! – to show Americans that you care that their loved ones are being gunned down because of political cowardice.

    And yes I know there is a Republican majority in the Senate and a Republican in the White House but you are still acting as though Senate Republicans are decent and honorable people when they clearly aren’t, they are craven aholes who hate America. Quit giving them the benefit of the doubt, set comity aside and call them what they are.

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