When the 116th Congress convenes on Thursday, many of the newly elected members are bringing an anti-Trump agenda and the goal of fundamentally transforming America even farther to the left than Barack Obama tried to accomplish in his eight years in office.
Here are 11 Democrats who were elected in the 2018 midterm elections on promises to resist President Donald Trump’s efforts to keep his campaign promises, from replacing Obamacare to building a wall on the United States border with Mexico to extracting the country from harmful trade and climate change agreements.
• Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is one of two Muslim women who will be serving in the House for the next two years.
“This is the time that we get to vote out hate, and the way we do it is by electing people like us into places where we make decisions right now, to push back,” then-candidate Rashida Tlaib, said in a Detroit News article published ahead of the midterms.
“I cannot wait to kick some Trump ass when I get to Congress,” said Tlaib, who is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
• Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), also a Democratic Socialist, has been in the headlines since she won a seat in the House because of her sometimes outlandish remarks and leftist agenda.
The Atlantic reported on Ocasio-Cortez’ speech in December at a Sen. Bernie Sanders’ town hall about her Green New Deal to fight climate change.
“This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the moon shot, the civil-rights movement of our generation,” Ocasio-Cortez said of her climate change plan.
“People are going to die if we don’t start addressing climate change ASAP,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote after the federal government’s report on climate change was released in November. “It’s not enough to think it’s ‘important.’ We must make it urgent.”
• Katie Hill (D-CA) was running a non-profit devoted to helping homeless people when Trump was elected, and everyone in her office cried over the news, she said.
“Hopefully this campaign can be something that’s inspiring to people to say, it’s not just another politician, it’s not just another 60-year-old white man,” Hill, told a Fox News affiliate ahead of the midterms.
The leftwing Advocate website reported:
As a bisexual woman married to a man, she has faced some pressure to be closeted, along with biphobia. Being out “was a huge decision early on,” she says, as many people urged her to hide her bi identity. But, she says, “I’ve been out as being bi since I was a teenager, right after high school.” She decided that remaining out was part of being “an honest, transparent politician.”
She remains deeply distressed by Kavanaugh’s confirmation. “It’s going to be incredibly difficult for us to recover,” she says. “It’s going to be very hard for us to restore faith in the Supreme Court, and as a woman, I’m going to be particularly fearful.”
• Jahana Hayes (D-CT), who campaigned on gun control, is set to become a member of the House Democrats’ Gun-Violence Prevention Task Force, formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.
“Communities across my district made it clear to me during the last election that they want reform of our gun laws,” Hayes said in a statement. “There are concrete steps we can take right now to make our cities and towns safer, and I can’t wait to work with my colleagues to make them a reality.”
• Angie Craig (D-MN) is married to a woman, with whom she has raised four sons, according to her campaign website.
She is an advocate of unions, Planned Parenthood, and climate change.
“I will fight for campaign finance reform, the right to organize and collectively bargain, reproductive rights, equal pay, and a living wage,” Craig said in a statement on her campaign website. “I’ll fight to address climate change, immigration reform and work to bring bipartisan solutions back. I’ll work with anyone to make things better for Minnesotans and stand against anyone who’s trying to hurt us.”
• Donna Shalala (D-FL) weighed in ahead of being elected in the midterms on Trump saying he was reviewing the birthright citizenship law.
Shalala tweeted that Trump was “blatantly attempting to rewrite our Constitution as he continues to stoke hatred and fear.”
“The community has an opposite view from the president,” Shalala said. “We know we are a community of immigrants. This community has been built by immigration and by immigrants who have worked hard.”
• Deb Haaland (D-NM) is described in the media as a lesbian and Native American.
In an article in the Santa Fe New Mexican, Haaland criticized filmmaker Dinesh D-Souza, who came to New Mexico to advocate for her opponent.
A controversial far-right pundit and filmmaker whose conviction on a campaign finance violation was pardoned this year by President Donald Trump is coming to New Mexico to campaign for Republican congressional candidate Janice Arnold-Jones.
Democrat Deb Haaland disparaged D’Souza’s credentials, describing him in an …. email to potential campaign supporters as “the criminal conservative pundit pardoned by the president.”
“Aside from being a racist, convicted criminal — it’s important to point out that the crimes he committed were campaign finance violations,” Haaland said of D’Souza, who pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws in 2014.
“My opponent is already right in line with this administration and their culture of corruption,” Haaland said.
• Sharice Davids (D-KS), “a Democrat from Kansas, made history Tuesday by becoming the first openly LGBTQ Kansan elected to Congress. She joins Debra Haaland of New Mexico, another winning Democrat on Tuesday, as the first two Native American women elected to Congress,” NBC reported.
“Changing the norm and resetting expectations is the most beautiful thing that came out of this election, I think,” said Davids, who was a fellow in the Obama White House.
• Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is the second Muslim women to be elected to House. She tweeted about her victory on Twitter.
“The politics of joy won in 2018, and it will be the force that sustains us in 2019. Happy New Years everyone! In 2019, we are bringing revolutionary love to Washington for the people and environment,” Omar tweeted.
She also tweeted recently about “U.S. troops” killing Native Americans.
“Today is the anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee,” Omar tweeted on December 29. “Before we can achieve the future we dream of, we have to be honest about the history of this nation.”
The tweet included a photograph.
“These Lakota riders honor the 300 men, women and children killed there that day by US troops,” Omar tweeted.
• Ayanna Presley (D-MA) is in favor of single-payer health care and gun control, according to a WGBH, a Boston radio station.
“I am here to make the case for Medicare for all,” Pressley exclaimed to cheers from the surrounding crowd.
“Medicare for all is justice. Closing the boyfriend loophole is justice,” she said, pointing to legal technicalities that domestic violence activists say allow unmarried domestic abusers to access guns.
“Background checks and an assault weapons ban are justice,” Pressley said.
• Joe Neguse (D-CO) tweeted his priorities as a new member in the House and his support for Ocasio-Cortez.
“I think it’s important to fight for progressive policy solutions to some of our most vexing public policy charges,” Neguse said. “But I also believe we should work to get wins, where we can, to improve people’s lives. So I’m going to look for opportunities to legislate, and find places where I think we can move the needle in solving a problem and actually get legislation signed into law.”
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