Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), a freshman congresswoman, said during a town hall Wednesday that moderate Democrats need to ensure that impeachment does not “overshadow” their legislative agenda.
Rep. Wild, one of the freshman congresswomen that helped Democrats regain the House during the 2018 midterms, admitted Wednesday during a town hall in Allentown, Pennsylvania, that her party has struggled to focus on their core issues, such as health care, while they move towards impeaching President Trump.
The freshman congresswoman helped take the seat by focusing on health care during the 2018 election cycle. During the town hall at Muhlenberg College, Wild admitted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry has served as a distraction from issues such as lowering the price of drugs.
When I am asked by the news media, ‘What does your district think about the impeachment inquiry?’ my answer is my district is more interested in knowing about prescription drug prices and what we’re going to do about the price of insulin. That’s exactly what I’m committed to. We don’t all know about it and I don’t think that we’ve probably done enough of a good job of messaging it.
Congresswoman Wild’s district serves one of many battleground House districts that Republicans could target in the 2020 election cycle to regain the House. Rep. Wild won her seat in 2018 by ten points during a special election to replace the former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) who resigned that year. The district remains a battleground seat, as Hillary Clinton won that district by only one percent.
Wild and many of her freshmen Democrat colleagues, such as Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), have tried to enact meaningful reform on issues such as health care; however, their message could soon become drowned out by Pelosi’s move towards impeachment.
Wild said that it remains important that impeachment does not “overshadow” other issues that Democrats want to prioritize.
“It’s our job to make sure, No. 1, that [impeachment] does not overshadow everything else that needs to get done — the reason most of us got elected, quite candidly — and to make sure that the people with pre-existing conditions are protected,” she said.
John Jaffe, a doctor from Allentown, asked during the town hall why Washington cannot move past “constant, nonstop fighting.”
Jaffe applauded Wild’s work on “collaborative” bills and said that “more Americans will be happy to hear more of that and less of the accusations du jour.”
The freshman Democrat said that she had no “interest” in impeachment when she was elected, but said that she felt that Democrats’ hands were tied regarding moving towards impeachment.
The national attention over impeachment has even distracted the House Democrat leadership from their core issues. During a press conference Wednesday, Pelosi attempted to refocus her presser away from impeachment towards passing legislation to address drug pricing and passing the United States Mexico Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.
Pelosi asked reporters Wednesday, “Does anybody in this room care about the cost of prescription drugs and what it means to America’s working families?”
Speaker Pelosi also insisted during the hearing that Democrats have launched an “impeachment inquiry” into President Trump, not an “outright impeachment.”