Politics

Democrats plan to be very busy come January, because elections really do have consequences

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 17: House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) speaks during a news conference with House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) (L) and House Democratic Caucus chairman Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) at the U.S. Capitol May 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. House Democrats have introduced legislation to create an outside, independent commission to investigate possible connections between President Donald Trump and Russian officials. If Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) does not support the legislation then Democrats said they will file a discharge petition to force a vote on the measure. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman-designate Elijah Cummings

For the nearly two years of the Trump presidency, the Republican-controlled House’s idea of oversight was to investigate Hillary Clinton for being Hillary Clinton, and when it came to Trump, looking the other way. But starting on January 3, that crazy concept of checks and balances will return to Washington when Democrats once again run the House of Representatives. And they plan to get busy immediately. Take Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Chairman-designate of the House Oversight Committee, who on Day One will have sent out a few letters.

Like one to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker “demanding the age, gender, country of origin and current location of every child who was separated from his or her parents under the Trump administration’s immigration policy.” And one to the White House counsel, demanding to know which White House officials “have used nongovernmental email accounts to conduct official business.” Then there will be the one to whoever is the White House chief of staff about “information and documents about the use of government-owned aircraft for personal travel and private aircraft for official travel.” And a sure-to-induce-rage letter to the Trump Organization “asking for a complete accounting of all the payments it has received from foreign governments or foreign-government-owned entities since Donald Trump’s election.” In other words, there will be a new sheriff in town. Or as Cummings put it:

“I’m not trying to do anything extraordinary. I’m trying to do what the Constitution says I’m supposed to do.”

At the same time, proving once again that it’s possible to walk and chew gum, soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic majority will be jumping right in on health carecommonsense gun reform“dark money” in politics, and restoring voting rights

Checks and balances, government for the people … good times. 


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