Fighting Back: “Democrats will push back against the science-denying Republican Party’s assault on our environment.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell reminding people of the damage being done to the environment by the science-deniers in the Republican Party.

(Congresswoman Debbie Dingell discussed the need for the Trump Administration to work with Congress to de-escalate tension with Iran and the House-passed bipartisan PFAS Action Act, to protect Americans from hazardous PFAS “forever chemicals.” )

This week, the House took significant action to address a problem that is a threat to all Americans: PFAS contamination and its effects to human health and the environment.

“The Dingell PFAS Action Act properly designates these forever chemicals as hazardous substances to accelerate the cleanup process at military facilities and in communities all across this country.

“People are being poisoned by these chemicals every single day and it’s our job to protect them. […]

“[This week’s Trump Administration] proposal to rollback NEPA is one more action by this Administration to ignore scientific-based environmental standards that protect our water, air and lands.

“This is a serious assault that will result in significant costs to American taxpayers because President Trump refuses to accept the effects and the challenges of climate change.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Transcript: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

“Hello, I’m Congresswoman Debbie Dingell from the 12th District of Michigan.

“This week, we pray for the men and women in our armed forces, as well as their families. They are all our sons and daughters.

“The Administration must work with Congress to put forward a coherent, robust strategy to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East. Diplomacy, not military action, must come first.

“I will do everything possible working with my colleagues to accomplish this, to prevent war and protect our national security. We must be diligent and united.

“At the same time, this week, the House took significant action to address a problem that is a threat to all Americans: PFAS contamination and its effects to human health and the environment.

“People are being poisoned by these chemicals every single day and it’s our job to protect them.

“This is an urgent public health and environmental threat. The number of contamination sites nationwide is growing at an alarming rate, including our military bases.

“These chemicals are known as ‘forever chemicals’ – and they are everywhere—they’re in our non-stick cookware, food containers, carpets, clothing, cosmetics and firefighting foams, just to name a few. They do not breakdown in the environment, in the human body or wildlife. PFAS builds up in your blood and it’s estimated to be in the blood of 97 percent of Americans, most who don’t even know it.

“Exposure to these forever chemicals—even at low levels—poses significant health risks, including cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.

“Michigan has been hit hard. We have identified 74 sites, but only because we are testing for it. Michigan learned from the Flint water crisis.

“According to the Environmental Working Group, forever chemicals have been detected in more than 1,400 communities, across 49 states, including near 400 military installations. Those drinking water systems serve around 19 million people.

“In my district, the entire Huron River is flowing with PFAS contamination. At a recent townhall, a man stood up and said, ‘I eat the fish. I live on it. When will the fish be safe again?’—I fear not in his lifetime.

“Here is the reality. We are not cleaning up this contamination and the polluters are not being held responsible. We don’t even have a protective drinking water standard. All Trump’s EPA has is a health advisory guideline. Even former Republican Michigan Governor Snyder’s appointed scientific PFAS Task Force said the guideline probably isn’t strong enough.

“This week, the House passed a comprehensive, bipartisan legislative package to address this growing crisis in the United States.

“The Dingell PFAS Action Act properly designates these forever chemicals as hazardous substances to accelerate the cleanup process at military facilities and in communities all across this country.

“The bill also includes provisions from many of my colleagues that establish a national protection standard for most notorious chemicals in drinking water and requires proper labeling in household products.

“It is a beginning. It is now on Senate Majority Leader McConnell and President Trump to act.

“We also must address the Trump Administration’s significant rollbacks of the National Environmental Policy Act this week.

“For fifty years, NEPA – which was signed by President Nixon – has been the bedrock of conservation law and preserved the environment, human health and the people’s voice in policy decisions.

“The proposal to rollback NEPA is one more action by this Administration to ignore scientific-based environmental standards that protect our water, air and lands.

“This is a serious assault that will result in significant costs to American taxpayers because President Trump refuses to accept the effects and the challenges of climate change.

“This decision is going to lead to more species becoming endangered. Now is the time to exercise serious oversight that ensures the Administration abides by the law and ensures that all communities have a voice in decisions that impact them.

“House Democrats are delivering For The People on serious, meaningful steps to protect human health and the environment.

“Senate Majority Leader McConnell and President Trump: will you join the House in listening and fighting for the health and safety of all Americans?”

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, everyone.

Today is a happy day for us. We are going to celebrate the wedding of Barbara Lee, who got married on New Year’s Day – or New Year’s Eve, I guess it was – in California, but today we’ll celebrate her wedding in Washington D.C. I convey that to you, because it is a source of joy to us, as she is a source of joy in her service to the country, and her personal joy is lovely.

In any event, here we are. We’ve got the ‘I’s: Iran, impeachment. Let me start with Iran.

Today, we will have a resolution on the Floor put forth by Elissa Slotkin. We’re very proud of her, in terms of her experience in terms of national security, under Democratic and Republican presidents, now a Member of Congress putting forth a resolution this week.

Last week, in our view, the President, the Administration conducted a provocative, disproportionate airstrike against Iran which endangered Americans and did so without consulting Congress.

When I was informed of this attack, the Administration took responsibility for it over the weekend, I said why did you not consult with Congress? ‘Well, we held it in closely.’ ‘We held it in closely, closely’ – no, you have a responsibility to consult with Congress. ‘No, we held it close.’ So, whoever ‘close’ means.

As you see, there has been criticism from the Republicans about the briefing that was put forth yesterday by the Administration on this subject. Some have asked do you agree that this is the worst intelligence classified briefing that Congress has received from this Administration. As some of you have heard me say, there is stiff competition for that designation of ‘worst.’

So, here we are. To protect American lives and values, we are passing today a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions. The Administration must de-escalate and must prevent further violence. America and the world cannot afford war.

Some of you have heard me say that, in December, I took a bipartisan delegation to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. It was just so remarkable to meet our VIPs, our veterans who served at the Battle of the Bulge, some of them also at Normandy. Imagine the courage, teenagers most of them, at the time.

But the compelling message from the veterans – the veteran who spoke for them, along with the King of Belgium and the Archduke of Luxembourg and the President of Germany, the veteran who spoke, he spoke about the Band of Brothers; he spoke about allies working together, multilateralism; he spoke about the challenges they faced in those winters, remind me, really, of Washington crossing the Delaware because it was in December and it was snowing and they were not as prepared for snow and camouflage from snow as they needed to be. But just seeing their patriotism, their courage, those young people and this veteran coming to speak for them, 90-some years old. At the end of those remarks, he said, ‘I just have one message and I don’t know if it’s appropriate to say, but I will: pray for peace.’ Pray for peace. That’s what we all do.

Protecting the American people is our first responsibility. Protect and defend: an oath we take. Not only of our Constitution, but of the American people. Pray for peace. That’s what we must do.

And so what happened in the view of many of us is not a promotion of peace, but an escalation. Not that we have any confidence in the goodness – or the good intentions of Iran, and we certainly do not respect, and I from my Intelligence background know just how bad Soleimani was. It’s not because we expect good things from them, but we expect great things from us.

Now, in terms of impeachment, you all keep asking me the same question and I keep giving you the same answer. As I said right from the start, we need to see the arena in which we are sending our managers. Is that too much to ask? In October, we put forth H.R. 660, which is House Resolution – which talked about the terms under which we would proceed further – to further proceed with the investigation, so the people knew what the battlefield would look like. We expect to see that here.

I hear different things. I hear that they might want to – you’ve probably heard, one way or another – some of them have suggested they might want to dismiss. Dismiss equals cover up. Dismiss equals admission that you’re afraid of the facts, the truth, the witnesses and the documentation.

We would have hoped that like, as with the Clinton process, that there would have been a bipartisan resolution determining how to proceed. Contrary to what the Majority Leader says, he says this is like the Clinton – no, it’s not at all and I sent our Members yesterday six of the points in which it is different.

But nonetheless, at some point we would hope that we would see from them what the terms of engagement will be. We are ready. We are proud of our defense of the Constitution of the United States. We are concerned that the Senators will not be able to live up to the oath that they must take to have an impartial trial. So much for that.

At the same time, as this is all going on, it’s important to note that there are so many other things of concern to the American people. One is the assault on the Affordable Care Act that this Administration is engaged in in the courts, in the Congress, and we are fighting them in the courts, in the Congress and in the country. But right now they are in the court, instead of defending the law of the land, as is the responsibility of the Justice Department, this Administration is fighting the law of the land. That means benefit for pre-existing conditions, no lifetime limits or annual limits, child staying on your policy until 26, being a woman no longer being a pre-existing condition: the list goes on and on that they want to tear down.

So with all of the other, shall we say, distractions going on, which are a collateral benefit to the Administration because it is a distraction, as they are masterful at, of what’s going on.

In addition to that, and related to health, is the statement from the Administration that they’re no longer going to enforce NEPA, the National Environmental Protection Act. This means more polluters will be right there next to the water supply of our children. That’s a public health issue that they’re – and their denial of climate – they’re going to not use the climate issue as anything to do with environmental decision-making. The public should know this. Denial, denial about the climate crisis in the midst of forest fires in Australia, and we have them in our own country.

And then I’ll close by just talking about how proud we are of the work that our Members have done For The People. We have moved to lower health care costs by lowering the costs of prescription drugs, H.R. 3, wildly popular in the country. Hopefully – and passed the House before we left. We also were proud to pass a Mexico-U.S.– U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement which is sitting over there in the Senate.

It’s sitting over there with more than 400 bills we’ve sent over, more than 275 of them bipartisan legislation. One of them we observed yesterday, the ninth anniversary of the assault on Gabby Gifford’s life – this is a bullet that I wear – that’s of the highest priority. Because if they would pass this bill, it would save lives – the bill to have sensible background check legislation.

So, again, we’re proud of our legislative agenda to lower health care costs, keep the American people safe, bigger paychecks by building infrastructure and this week, this coming week in the next period of time, our Chairmen – led by Peter DeFazio, Chairman DeFazio of the Infrastructure and Transportation Committee – will be putting forth our most current initiative on the climate. I say climate because you can’t do infrastructure without having a recognition of resilience and green technologies. So, that’s where we are there.

Now, today, we again send sad condolences to the person who lost his or her life in Puerto Rico. Others whose homes were damaged. We call upon the White House to stop its unlawful withholding of funds from Puerto Rico. We also – there are needs that need to be met. There has been a disaster designated, but the ongoing withholding of funds appropriated by Congress to Puerto Rico is illegal and we call upon the Administration to cease and desist that illegal activity.

So what else do we have here? Maybe we’ll just take some questions from all of you. Nancy.

Press questioning followed (see transcript)

~

Pelosi Statement on Vote on War Powers Resolution

January 8, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement announcing the upcoming vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military action regarding Iran:

“Last week, the Trump Administration conducted a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike targeting high-level Iranian military officials. The Administration took this action without consulting Congress. This action endangered our servicemembers, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran. Since then, the President has made clear that he does not have a coherent strategy to keep the American people safe, achieve de-escalation with Iran and ensure stability in the region.

“Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward. Our concerns were not addressed by the President’s insufficient War Powers Act notification and by the Administration’s briefing today.

“Today, to honor our duty to keep the American people safe, the House will move forward with a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran. This resolution, which will be led by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, will go to the Rules Committee this evening and will be brought to the Floor tomorrow.

“The House may also soon consider additional legislation on the Floor to keep America safe. This legislation includes Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s resolution to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and Congressman Ro Khanna’s legislation to prohibit funding for military action against Iran not authorized by Congress.

“The Administration must work with the Congress to advance an immediate, effective de-escalatory strategy that prevents further violence. America and the world cannot afford war.”

The resolution passed the House on a mostly party line vote and was sent to the Senate.

~

Pelosi Statement on December Jobs Report

January 10, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the Department of Labor released its December jobs report:

“December’s jobs report caps a year of growing uncertainty in our economy, rising desperation in farm country and surging costs of living for hard-working families.

“Now, 2020 has begun with even more price hikes for hundreds of life-saving medicines, adding to the already crushing burden of prescription drug costs that weighs on so many families. While last month, House Democrats took bold action by passing the Lower Drug Costs Now Act to finally negotiate lower drug prices for American seniors and families, Senator McConnell refuses to bring this bill to a vote. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration continues its all-out assault on health care in the courts to rip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions, end the ban on lifetime limits on care and destroy the health and financial security of tens of millions of American families.

“House Democrats will continue our work For The People, delivering legislation to lower health costs and prescription drug prices, raise wages by rebuilding America’s infrastructure in resilient, job-creating ways and clean up corruption in Washington. We have sent the GOP Senate more than 275 bipartisan bills that Senator McConnell continues to block, and we will continue our drumbeat across America to pass this vital legislation.”

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Here is the status of the transmission of the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for their consideration its use as toilet paper:

January 10, 2020

Dear Democratic Colleague,

For weeks now, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been engaged in tactics of delay in presenting transparency, disregard for the American people’s interest for a fair trial and dismissal of the facts.

Yesterday, he showed his true colors and made his intentions to stonewall a fair trial even clearer by signing on to a resolution that would dismiss the charges. A dismissal is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth. Leader McConnell’s tactics are a clear indication of the fear that he and President Trump have regarding the facts of the President’s violations for which he was impeached.

The American people have clearly expressed their view that we should have a fair trial with witnesses and documents, with more than 70 percent of the public stating that the President should allow his top aides to testify. Clearly, Leader McConnell does not want to present witnesses and documents to Senators and the American people so they can make an independent judgment about the President’s actions.

Honoring our Constitution, the House passed two articles of impeachment against the President – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – to hold the President accountable for asking a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 elections for his own political and personal gain.

While the House was able to obtain compelling evidence of impeachable conduct, which is enough for removal, new information has emerged, which includes:

– On December 20, new emails showed that 91 minutes after Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, a top Office of Management and Budget (OMB) aide asked the Department of Defense to “hold off” on sending military aid to Ukraine.
– On December 29, revelations emerged about OMB Director and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s role in the delay of aid, the effort by lawyers at the OMB, the Department of Justice and the White House to justify the delay, and the alarm that the delay caused within the Administration.
– On January 2, newly-unredacted Pentagon emails, which we had subpoenaed and the President had blocked, raised serious concerns by Trump Administration officials about the legality of the President’s hold on aid to Ukraine.
– And on January 6, just this week, former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton announced he would comply with a subpoena compelling his testimony. His lawyers have stated he has new relevant information.

I am very proud of the courage and patriotism exhibited by our House Democratic Caucus as we support and defend the Constitution. I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate. I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.

In an impeachment trial, every Senator takes an oath to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.” Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution.

No one is above the law, not even the President.

Thank you for your leadership For The People.

Sincerely,
Nancy

~

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  3 comments for “Fighting Back: “Democrats will push back against the science-denying Republican Party’s assault on our environment.”

  1. JanF
    January 11, 2020 at 8:52 am

    Pelosi Statement on Administration’s Proposed Changes to National Environmental Policy Act

    January 9, 2020
    Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement following the announcement from the Trump Administration that they would be revising implementation guidelines for the National Environment Policy Act to decrease climate change-related permitting requirements for infrastructure projects:

    “With its latest proposed policy change, the Trump Administration is once again ignoring science and putting the needs of their special interest friends and donors ahead of the well-being of American families. These new guidelines undermine critical building requirements that ensure that our communities are able to withstand the growing threat posed by the climate crisis, with significant, dangerous implications for the safety of our families and the financial security of American taxpayers.

    “With record storms, wildfires, floods and other natural disasters increasing at an alarming rate, cities and towns across the country are already feeling the devastating effects of the climate crisis. Every year, natural disasters cost American taxpayers billions of dollars; if this proposal is enacted, America will spend billions more on projects that won’t even survive the effects of climate change. Americans cannot afford the Administration’s latest assault on vital environmental and economic protections. Our communities need robust investments in sustainable and resilient infrastructure that strengthens, not diminishes, protections for our families and communities.

    “The Trump Administration must abandon this short-sighted proposal and listen to the will of the American people who are demanding bold action to address the climate crisis. House Democrats will continue to build on the progress we have made and work to build a brighter, more sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. We have no time to waste.”

    Bolding added.

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  2. JanF
    January 16, 2020 at 6:49 am

    House of Representatives delivers Articles of Impeachment to the Senate – Engrossment Ceremony.

    Transcript: Pelosi Remarks at Engrossment Ceremony Photo Opportunity for Articles of Impeachment and Procession of Impeachment Managers

    ~

    Procession led by Clerk of the House Cheryl Johnson and the Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving.

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    • JanF
      January 16, 2020 at 6:57 am

      Impeachment Managers announced by Speaker Pelosi:

      Chair Adam Schiff of California, Lead Manager, Chairman Schiff, as you know, Chair of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is serving his tenth term in Congress. Excuse me. Before Congress, Mr. Schiff was a California state senator and served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for six years, most notably prosecuting the first federal FBI agent ever to be indicted for espionage.

      Chairman Jerry Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee is serving his fifteenth term in Congress. Mr. Nadler served as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for thirteen years. Before Congress, Mr. Nadler served the New York State Assembly for sixteen years. Wow.

      Chair Zoe Lofgren. Chair Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the House Committee on House Administration, which has jurisdiction over federal elections is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee. Ms. Lofgren is serving her thirteenth term in Congress. This is Chairwoman Lofgren’s third impeachment. As a [staffer for a Judiciary Committee Member] in the Nixon impeachment, as a member of the Judiciary Committee in the Clinton impeachment and now as a manager in this impeachment of President Trump.

      Chair Hakeem Jeffries of New York. Chairman Hakeem Jeffries is the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and is currently serving his fourth term in Congress. He’s a member of the House Judiciary Committee. Before being in Congress, he served in the Assembly of New York for six years. An accomplished litigator in private practice before running for elected office. Mr. Jeffries clerked for the Honorable [Harold] Baer Jr. of New York District Court for the Southern District of New York.

      Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida. Congresswoman Val Demings is a member of both the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee. Ms. Demings is serving her second term in Congress. Before Congress, Ms. Demings served in the Orlando Police Department for 27 years – part of that time as the first woman Police Chief in Orlando.

      Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Mr. Crow served his country, our country, bravely as an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan. Before coming, running for Congress, Mr. Crow was a respected litigator in private practice in Colorado.

      Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia of Texas. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia is a member of the House Judiciary Committee. Before Congress, Ms. Garcia was, served in Texas State Senate. Previously, she was the Director and Presiding Judge of the Houston Municipal System and was elected City Controller. Ms. Garcia was later elected the first Hispanic and first woman to be elected in her own right the Harris County Commissioners Court.

      As you can see from these descriptions, the emphasis is on litigators. The emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom. The emphasis is making as strong as possible a case to protect and defend our Constitution, to seek the truth for the American people. I’m very proud and honored that these seven Members, distinguished Members, have accepted this serious responsibility. Again, to protect and defend For The People, defending our democracy.

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