Let’s get back to work

January 15, 2021

Wednesday was a dark day for our country. None of us wanted to spend our time impeaching Trump once again, but we had no choice. The events of January 6th threatened not only our democracy and the lives of thousands, but also the important work of Congress.

Now that the House has done our job to hold Trump accountable, we must redouble our efforts for the American people.  

The coronavirus still poses a very real threat. Thousands of people are dying every day. We have to improve the disastrous response of the Trump administration that has resulted in the United States having the worst performance of any developed country in the world. While we have a vaccine, we're still dealing with the lingering consequences of Trump's incompetence.

Under President-elect Biden, the federal government will finally have a unified plan to defeat the pandemic. It will respect science. It will counter the skepticism and delusion that started at the top when Trump, who couldn't be bothered to fight the virus, spread misinformation resulting in the politicization of public health and attacks on public health workers.

We also need to stop shortchanging healthcare workers by giving them the support they deserve and the resources they need to do their job.

The pandemic has stretched so many parts of our society to the breaking point, including hospitals, state and local governments, and essential workers who are at risk. Much-needed relief has been paralyzed by Mitch McConnell and Republicans in the Senate. By acting now, we can help desperate families with money for food, housing, and utilities.

As the Trump wrecking crew leaves office, Congress should also be prepared to swiftly invoke the congressional review process to repeal the worst abuses inflicted on the American people, our institutions and the environment. It is imperative to limit the damage and show the American public how we will use the powers of government in ways that they are intended.

Finally, we should begin work immediately repairing the damage to our democracy. When Democrats regained control in the House of Representatives in 2018, we quickly passed legislation to protect, expand and enhance our democratic institutions, particularly voting.

This should be the first order of business as the evidence of efforts to undercut voting is so clear for all to see.

We need to increase voting rights to minimize the ability of partisan local officials to undercut them. We should strengthen and clarify the right to vote by mail, the most secure and convenient way for voters to make their voices heard at election time. It must be safe, convenient and verifiable in every state by both Republicans and Democrats. This is after all, how our military around the world exercises their right to vote

We must make sure that this fundamental right is protected for anyone who wants, as Trump himself did, to vote at home.

This is just a start. I am excited about what’s ahead. I’m energized by what we've witnessed around the country as people stand up for their communities. I’m determined that we don't waste a minute of the opportunity that the voters have given us to fight for them and our democracy.