From getting big money out of politics to legalizing cannabis, here’s what House Democrats have got up their sleeve.
We asked a dozen Democrats what to expect from the new House majority. Here’s what they said they’re focused on now.
PELOSI: We don’t like the wall for what it is. We don’t like the wall for what it stands for, blocking people. We don’t like the wall for what it costs and what it takes money away from.
Rep. Jim McGovern: I’m excited about it. It’s unbelievable. It’s inspiring.
ALLAN: What is in HR 1, and why is it the top priority for House Democrats?
REP. JOHN SARBANES: So what’s in HR 1 is all the things that can make our Democracy work again.
Rep. Malinowski: Our first bill that Democrats introduced in Congress, HR1 tries to do something about that, to get dark money, foreign money, big money out of our elections, out of our politics.
Maxine Waters: I created a new [financial services]subcommittee on diversity. And this subcommittee is going to look at the financial services community and industry period, all the banks, all of the Feds and the Treasury, everything. And we’re going to get information about what the makeup of that particular entity is, and whether or not they have African Americans, and Latinos, and Asians, and whites, and whether or not there’s real diversity.
Rep. Andy Kim: We live at a time when 40% of Americans can’t handle a $400 emergency, and that’s a fundamental problem in our nation.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer: We have formed a bipartisan cannabis caucus.// If we do our jobs right, this might be the Congress that legalizes adult use and makes more accessible medical marijuana.
Rep. Chris Pappas: We’re pushing the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination in housing, in employment, in public accommodations, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
Rep. Madeleine Dean: We had a terrible spike in gun violence in this country in the last twelve months. 40,000 died of gun violence, more than half to suicide, and another 80,000 people are literally wounded, caught in the crossfire. So this is just a monstrous problem that we must do something about. Government must pass legislation to save lives.
Rep. Susan Wild: We went from no women at all among the 18 member congressional delegation from Pennsylvania to four women. I’m one of four. And we’re very excited. It was history making— or herstory making. // It is the youngest, most diverse freshman class ever, and I don’t think there’s a single shrinking violet in the entire group.
Waters: First of all, I want to thank our young audience and our millennials for helping to raise the level of discussion about fairness and justice in this country. And what’s happening to them— have gone to college, have worked hard, can’t get a loan, can’t buy a house, can’t look forward to having a family and children anytime in their young years the way things are going because the economy is not working for them. They are the ones that have raised this message, and got us focused on it, and I believe that the input that they’re giving is going to help us create the change.
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