My Wish List For The New US Congress With Democrats Being The Majority Party, Part I

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It’s great news that the Democratic Party did deliver the blue wave which began on November 6, 2018. The Democratic Party managed to win the majority of seats in the US House of Representatives by 37 legislators, while the Republican Party has maintained its majority position in the US Senate with an addition of a couple of extra seats. The seats that were added have been in states that leaned heavily towards the Republican Party. In the individual states, the Democratic Party was able to pick up at least 330 seats and 7 governorship positions. In the closely watched races of Texas, Georgia and Florida, the republican candidates prevailed by narrow margins.

Now that democrats have the upper hand in the US House of Representatives, they have 6 months to make a splash where the average Joe can see that their interests are a top priority, in addition to the representatives executing its oversight duties.

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PELOSI

It’s my opinion that the Democrats in the House should back the current leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi because she’s extremely competent in delivering on legislative goals, and she has no equal when it comes to fund raising which will be crucial for 2020 elections. The Democrats should not pay attention to republicans making her a bogeyman. This is not the time for a new leader to deal with that learning curve.

This does not mean that the new recruits will not have their voices heard. But it is critical that democrats deliver on promises made to their constituents. For example, after 5 years the residents of Flint, Michigan still do not have the problem of water with high levels of lead, fully resolved, and this travesty has been on-going under both democratic and republican administrations. This status is inexcusable.

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When it comes to the Democrats’ oversight duties, my number one priority would be gaining access to the president’s past IRS tax returns. This is crucial to insure that the US national security interests aren’t being compromised because the president is too dependent on the receipt of foreign monies, promises, loans from countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Then I would want the House to collect all data pertaining to the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court. There are lots of other probes that are necessary but for me, these are the top two.

As for any legislation, my priorities would be fixing ACA Affordable Care Act/ Obamacare; updating the security regarding the US voting infrastructure systems, enacting a new voting rights’ act; checking if it is possible to pass the 2013 immigration reform bill that was passed on a bipartisan basis by the US Senate but was blocked in the US House. The minimum wage should be increased to $15.00 per hour. Businesses benefited tremendously from the 2017 GOP tax cuts and this is one way to insure that the average Joe gets a break.

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Another goal would be for democrats to legislate monies to be set aside for communities that have been devastated by catastrophic weather events including Puerto Rico and California. The US infrastructure  needs to be updated to mitigate for damages due to future extreme weather conditions.  Then there should be a real effort to pass sensible gun control measures as well as criminal-justice reform legislation.

See: [First Step Act’: Trump endorses bipartisan criminal-justice reform bill]

Even if republicans are resistant to these changes, it is important for hard working peoples to know which party is fighting for them.

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1.) We the people” need to have our voting rights protected.

The State of Georgia is only one example out of many republican led states where voter suppression has been a priority over making it an easier, more secure process for all of its citizens.

As per the 11/16/18 LA Times report, “Democrat Stacey Abrams ended her fight against Republican Brian Kemp in the Georgia governor’s race on Friday, but pledged to battle what she called the former secretary of state’s “gross mismanagement” of the elections with a federal lawsuit.”

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“Speaking defiantly at a news conference, Abrams said her actions did not constitute a concession, but she acknowledged that she had no further recourse under the law and that Kemp would be certified the winner.”

As per the November 10, 2018 Guardian report, “the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People president, Derrick Johnson, (recently) released a statement, filled with refrains echoed by other legal experts, civil rights figures.”

He said: “Kemp’s actions during the election were textbook voter suppression. His actions were strategic, careless and aimed at silencing the voting power of communities of color in the state.”

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ABRAMS/ KEMP

“Consider these numbers.”

 “In the three months leading up to election day, more than 85,000 voters were purged from rolls under Kemp. During 2017 668,000 voters were purged, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.”

 “Of those 2017 numbers, investigative reporter Greg Palast told Salon, 200,000 people left the state, died or moved out their district, making them legitimate cancellations. However, through litigation, he got the entire purge list. “Of the 400,000 who supposedly moved, our experts will tell a court that 340,134 never moved – wrongly purged,” Palast told the Guardian, saying people had been purged for not voting in an election or two.”

 “Furthermore from 2012 to 2016, 1.5 million voters were purged – more than 10% of all voters – from records, according to a 2018 report from the Brennan Center for Justice. In comparison, 750,000 were purged from 2008 to 2012.”

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2.) Republicans can no longer be allowed to deny the science of  “climate change.” Most voters know that fatalities, trauma, property losses have spiked in the past few years due to extreme weather conditions.

President Trump and his sycophants have been denying credible scientific evidence pertaining to climate change, while they champion deregulation.

Recently, the president has been blaming the California fires on inadequate forest management. So far, the fires have  destroyed over 250,000 square acres including an entire  town. As of the 17th of November 2018, the fires have caused the death of at least 75 peoples with 1300 unaccounted for, and as per the latest news, it is only 65% contained.

It is important to note that the Federal Government owns 60% of these California forested areas.

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As per the 11/17/18 LA Times report, “(While) viewing the destruction of a wildfire, President Trump vowed Saturday (11/17/18) to help California recover from the devastation and work to prevent future catastrophic blazes.”

“Trump toured the rubble of Paradise, where more than 10,000 structures were lost, with Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.”

“Though Trump and Brown have strong political differences, they struck a chord of unity. Trump praised the state’s first responders and said he had productive discussions with Brown and Newsom. The president avoided his criticism of California’s fire and forest management.”

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“We do have to do management, maintenance. We’ll be working also with environmental groups,” Trump said. “I think everybody’s seen the light.”

“We’re all on the same page now.  It’s going to work out well,” he added.”

“Asked about whether his views on climate change had shifted, the president said no: “I have a strong opinion; I want great climate.”

“Brown said the road ahead will be challenging. “It’s a big massive cleanup after a massive tragedy,” he said. “Somehow we will pull through it together.” The governor thanked Trump “for himself being here and putting the focus and the spotlight” on the tragedy.”

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“The president arrived in Southern California on Saturday (11/17/18) afternoon for a similar tour of devastated areas in and around Malibu and Thousand Oaks. The Camp fire in Northern California and the Woolsey fire in the south combined have burned more than 250,000 acres and destroyed more than 10,000 structures.”

“Trump was roundly criticized last week for erroneously blaming the fires on poor forest management and threatening to cut off funding to California.”

“But in recent days, the president has offered more conciliatory comments about the wildfires, saying (11/13/18), “We mourn for the lives lost and we pray for the victims of the California wildfires.”

“In an interview on Fox News, Trump said climate change might have contributed to the fires but maintained that forest management policies must change.”

See:Track key details of the California wildfires »

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GOVERNOR BROWN

As per the November 17, 2018 Guardian report, As major wildfires continue to rage across California, state regulators are examining – yet again – whether 2 utility companies may be to blame for them starting.”

“Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) have been identified by regulators as potentially responsible for the deadly Camp fire in northern California and the Woolsey fire in southern California, which began last Thursday(11/15/18).”

“Both companies have been found to be responsible for fire disasters in recent years.

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Investigations are still under way, and officials with Cal Fire have not yet confirmed what started the Woolsey fire, burning across Los Angeles and Ventura counties, or the Camp fire, which has decimated communities north of Sacramento.”

“But the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which regulates the private businesses that provide essential services to citizens across the state, has said that it received incident reports from both companies showing that equipment issues occurred in the areas close to where the fires ignited, in the moments before flames began to spread.”

13 comments

    • Dear Scottie,

      The Democrats had better not blow this opportunity if they want to prevail in 2020 elections. They cannot be arguing over the leadership position or who’s up or down, It’s all hands on deck time.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Dear Gronda, glad you are back, I hope you are well. I am so very happy there was 1. A Blue wave. 2. Women have succeeded. 3. A cross section of American people are now represented by the congressional majority. 4. The incumbents days are numbered. Hugs mate.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Gary J,

      The democrats are on track. Now we have the 2020 elections in our sights where it will be much easier to pick up US senate seats. Let’s pray that we have a Democrat ensconced in the White House.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your wish list is much the same as mine. While all of these are high priority, I think the first thing I would like to see tackled is new voting rights legislation that makes what happened in Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and other states impossible to happen again. I have no sense that either the 2016 or the 2018 elections were fair and honest, and voter suppression simply must be stopped before 2020! Great post … thanks!

    Are you feeling better?

    Hugs!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Jill. The problem with both your wish list and Gronda’s is the dem’s control only one house of congress, the house side. They can introduce bills and make the senate either not have a vote or vote no on popular issues, but they can not force the senate to take up any legislation that Mitch McConnell doesn’t want to. And he wont want to. Hugs

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ah yes, I had not forgotten that, but was thinking linearly … one step at a time. Get it through the House, get the people behind it, get them calling their Senators. But to your point, you are correct and I suspect the next two years will be mostly a stalemate. Even if they could squeeze it through the Senate, it wouldn’t be veto-proof and Trump would kill it. As I said … stalemate. But … the one thing we can accomplish is to make the people see who is actually working , or trying to work, in their best interests as opposed to who is acting in the best interest of the 1%. I think that within the first 6 months of 2019, the effect of the tariffs will begin being felt by even his most ardent followers and it will become increasingly difficult for them to justify his actions. At least, that is my hope.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Dear Jill and Scottie,

        Even if the Dems in the US House of Representatives can’t get Republicans in the US Senate to cooperate, they can at least force them to vote where the different legislators are on the record.

        It’s important that folks know who the Dems are fighting to help. Giving up before you start fighting, isn’t an option.

        For example, let the republicans vote NO on a bill that increases the minimum wage rate to $15.00 per hour after they voted for a huge tax cut for the wealthy and the big corporations.

        Hugs, Gronda

        Liked by 3 people

        • Oh I agree with you totally on getting their votes on the record. I just doubt McConnell will let the bills come up for a vote in the Senate which is were we need a record of their votes the most. Hugs

          Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Jill,

      I’m still in pain but I’m making progress. It hurts just to get dressed.

      I agree with you 100%. I’m tweeting Mayor Andrew Gillum and the outgoing US Senator Bill Nelson of Florida to take on this project.

      I’m convinced that the incompetence of Florida’s Broward County election’s supervisor contributed to the these two politicians’ losses.

      But the federal government needs to take this on as well. We have a right to be able to count on the integrity of our vote and the US voting infrastructure.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 2 people

      • Awwww … I’m so sorry, Gronda. I do hope you are better soon … thinking of you and sending hugs!!!

        Good idea — contacting both Billum and Nelson. I have less and less confidence in our electoral process, and it’s imperative, with 2020 now on the horizon, that we fix this!!!

        Hugs!!!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Keith,

      There is so much legitimate oversight that needs doing to where the Democratic majority has to prioritize. For example, I simply want to insure that the FBI’s Special Counsel Mueller’s work product is protected. But I would let Mr. Mueller finish the job without unnecessary duplication. The one exception would be gaining access to President Trump’s IRS tax returns. Then I would set up non-partisan commissions to study and report on the status of US voting infrastructure and to do a complete review of what happened to PR as both these projects would take up a lot of time.

      The amount of legitimate work to be done is almost overwhelming.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

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