Today was a historic day in Washington, DC as the new Democratic House of Representatives was officially seated and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) promised to pursue our party’s “For the People” agenda. It was also a day that promises tough times ahead for President Trump.
Of course, before any action on substantive legislation can move forward, a solution must be found to the #TrumpShutdown, and the new Democratic House immediately embarked on passing legislation to achieve that.
It will be up to the Republican-controlled Senate to determine if that legislation will be sent to President Trump, and if the increasingly defensive president will sign it.
Don't hold your breath, but at some point the government agencies closed by Trump, held hostage in his battle for funding for his ridiculous wall, will open and more than 800,000 federal employees will go back to work. And when that happens, Democrats will have played a major deciding role.
"We will debate and advance good ideas no matter where they come from – and in that spirit, Democrats will be offering the Senate Republican appropriations legislation to re-open government later today – to meet the needs of the American people, and to protect our borders," Pelosi said.
But in the meantime, Speaker Pelosi’s address to the new Congress, which is now more diverse than any in history, was one of hope, inclusiveness and positive action. That, I hope, will be Democrats' approach in the months ahead, although there certainly will be challenges and roadblocks from Trump and his Republican supporters.
Pelosi said Democrats must be “pioneers of the future” and “accelerate a future that advances America’s preeminence in the world” by improving public education and workforce development. She called climate change “a crisis manifested in natural disasters of epic proportions,” signaling a direct challenge toTrump and his fellow climate change deniers within his party and administration.
"This is a public health decision for clean air and clean water; an economic decision for America's global preeminence in green technology; a security decision to keep us safe; and a moral decision to be good stewards of God's creation," Pelosi said.
She said Democrats would move forward on legislation to strengthen background checks for those who purchase firearms, to enact legislation to improve the nation’s infrastructure, tackle ethics reform, reduce healthcare costs and protect those with pre-existing conditions.
Looming over Trump, of course, is the Russia investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, and the potential outcome that could jeopardize his presidency.
Trump can also expect Democrats to launch their own investigations to his misdeeds, and those of his family members and businesses. The result of all of this could lead to impeachment proceedings. However, it is my view that America would be far better off if we can defeat this corrupt administration at the polls, thus also ridding us of Vice President Pence, who would be Trump’s successor should he be impeached --and also while avoid further divisions in our nation, which would be sure to occur.
So put on your seatbelts. 2019 is going to be quite a ride.