We Ain’t Out The Woods Yet

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“Democrats are expected to leverage their new majority to wield Congress’ oversight powers. They could demand Trump’s tax returns, subpoena his Cabinet members and investigate suspected ties to Russia. And they can block the president’s legislative priorities, whether it’s funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border or curbing entitlement programs.”

That being said and done,  the  mid-term election was a historic one for people of color and the LGBTQ community, and female candidates spearheaded a significant amount of Democratic gains.  

Ayanna Pressley became Massachusetts’ first black congresswoman. Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women elected to Congresss. Jared Polis was the first gay man to win a governor’s race. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress.

All this in the midst of Trump blathering on about a new concept he’s just heard of called “bi·par·ti·san·ship”, to which he now implores the incoming House Democrats to partake in, in order to avoid his wrath. However, I’m happy to report that the #NewDem2019Crew have pretty much said, “FU Mr. President!” (politically speaking, of course).

On their proposed agendas, — top being Trump’s impeachment, indictment, hopefully to be followed by an embarrassingly swift removal from office, despite what proposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says — they’ve got plenty of bigger fish to fry, primarily damage control over the fires set by this Sad Satan after he’s removed from the whitehouse, if not in 2019 when the Dems take over the House and a large portion of the Senate, then by God in 2020!

Trump, trying hard to save face after the 2018 midterm elections debacle,  Nov 7, 2018.

The Democrats priorities include:

Rejection of The Trump Budget

The conference report rejects President Trump’s extreme budget cuts, restoring $8.1 billion in funding for important priorities that create jobs, strengthen our economy, and build a better future for all Americans.

Increase Funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The conference report provides $2.38 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs in the Department of Energy to support the development of clean, renewable, and energy efficiency technologies across the country. The conference reports reverses a House cut of $243 million and provides $57 million above the FY 2018 enacted level.

Support for Advanced Energy Technology Research and Development

The conference report provides $366 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which promotes and funds research and development of advanced energy technology. The conference report reverses a House cut of $28 million, rejects President Trump’s proposed elimination of the agency, and provides $12.7 million above the FY 2018 enacted level.

Improvement of VA Infrastructure

The conference report provides the second installment of $2 billion for VA infrastructure needs. The funding includes $800 million for Medical Facilities for non-recurring maintenance, $750 million for seismic improvements, $300 million for Major Construction, and $150 million for Minor Construction.

Expansion of Opioid Prevention and Treatment for Veterans

The conference report provides $348 million for opioid treatment and prevention programs and $52 million to continue to implement opioid safety initiatives outlined as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, as well as to develop programs aimed at ensuring that non-VA providers treating veterans through community care programs are informed and in compliance with all VA standards for opioid safety and prescription guidelines.

Creation of New Compensation for House Interns

The conference report provides $8.8 million in a new dedicated funding stream for Member’s offices to pay interns. Each Member’s office may use $20,000 of that money to pay interns over the course of the calendar year. Interns paid through this account do not count against the limit on paid employees. (“I suppose the thinking behind this proposal is to generate an incentive for youth to get more involved in politics.”) – The House Committee on Appropriations 

And what this writer would also like to see is an agenda to reinstate country-wide police reform, that fired/resigned ex attorney general Jeff Sessions thought necessary to shelve as a parting gift just hours before he resigned/was fired. The action sharply curtailed the ability of the federal government’s civil rights attorneys to police the police in regards to unconstitutional acts against citizens. Also a reversal of the militarization of local and state police.

Then there’s also the Voting Rights Act section 5 and section 4b that must be restored, for obvious reasons In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court declared the two provisions unconstitutional, reasoning that they were no longer responsive to current conditions. Yeah, right.

I’m looking toward to the new Senate and Pelosi, if she’s to win SOTH, pushing back hard and keeping these important issues on the front burner for presidential candidates in 2020. I intend to make my concerns known to all the fresh, new lawmakers who make themselves available on social media. You should too!

Democrats say they are fighting for the common people, in direct opposition to Republicans, who they state fight for the powerful wealthy. That’s sounds endearing enough, but an even more gratifying prospect would be to see the beginnings of a solid third party coming out of all this “new car smell” activity. You know, a sort of antithesis to the Tea Party that totally brexited the GOP back in 2009. A true Coffee Party perhaps?

But that’s another blog …

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

 

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