The House and the Senate have convened for the 116th Congress with the most diverse class of lawmakers in history, returning Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to hold the position, to the speaker’s office.
Pelosi became the 7th person to resume the Speakership in non-consecutive terms of office but the first since Sam Rayburn in 1955.
Democrats take the majority with a large class of freshman lawmakers who are ready to confront President Donald Trump in a new era of divided government, with a partial government shutdown in its 13th day.
Pelosi said legislation will be introduced today to reopen the government, but the Democratic leader showed no willingness to give in to demands for taxpayer funding of a southeren border wall.
House Democrats’ first bill in the majority is a sweeping anti-corruption proposal that will take up voting rights, campaign finance reform, and a crackdown on corrupt lobbying practices, sposnored by Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.).
By making a fight agaunst corruption their top priority, House Democrats are throwing down the gauntlet for Republicans.
A vast majority of Americans want to get the influence of money out of politics, and want Congress to pass laws to do so, according to a 2018 Pew Research survey.
Given the multitude of scandals surrounding Trump’s administration, it looks bad for Republicans to be opposing campaign finance reform going into 2020.
Republicans still control a majority in the US Senate although the 2018 midterm elections, resulted in a gain of 41 House seats in the Democrats’ largest pickup of seats since the post-Watergate 1974 elections, when the ‘party of the people’ picked up 49 seats.
Pelosi is pledging to make government work for all Americans, marking the 100th year since women were granted the right to vote as Congress welcomes its greatest number of female members.
Pelosi served as House Speaker from 2007 to 2011, and was first elected Member of the House of Representatives for California in 1987. She served as House Minority Leader from 2003 to 2007 and 2011 to 2019.
Democrats show no sign of caving in to Trump’s demand for $5 billion to construct a southern border wall, and the party is ready to challenge the president with a number of investigations that threaten the White House’s reckless and errrtic right-wing agenda.
Pelosi was a staunch opponent of the Iraq War, the Bush tax cuts and his Republican administration’s 2005 attempt to privatize Social Security.
As Speaker, she was instrumental in the passage of many landmark bills including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and 2010 Tax Relief Act served as economic stimulus amidst the Great Recession.
Pelosi supported the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials from the Capitol, replacing a statue of Robert E. Lee in the National Statuary Hall with a one of Rosa Parks.
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