DCCC - Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

10/15/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/15/2019 10:13

Republicans Play Political Games; House Democrats Keep Laser Focus on Kitchen Table Issues

Republicans in Washington 'giddily' boasted that this district work period would be politically painful for Democrats standing tall to uphold the rule of law, but as Congress returns to session, here's the reality:

GOP asking activists to heckle California Democrats over impeachment. It's not working
McClatchy | Kate Irby and David Lightman

The fundraising arm of House Republicans has been giddily inviting people unhappy about impeachment to attend town halls hosted by Democrats in purple districts and voice their displeasure.

In California's Central Valley, it doesn't seem to be working.

Voters in those areas - full of swing congressional districts that will help determine which party controls the House after next year's election - are telling congressmen they care more about issues that affect their personal lives, such as health care and the economy.


It's not for lack of trying on the part of the National Republican Congressional Committee. It sent out emails titled 'IMPEACHMENT ADVISORY' encouraging people who did not support impeachment to go to town halls hosted by both Harder and Cox.


The impeachment issue never came up during that town hall, according to Cox's office, which centered on health. It was the first town hall he hosted since he expressed support for the inquiry.


And while the House Republicans' campaign arm has been off playing political games, Democrats have been keeping a laser focus on kitchen table issues at the same time they ensure no one is above the law.

Here's what voters are reading:

CA-10: Rep. Harder Talks Gun Control, Climate Change With Young Crowd at Modesto Town Hall
FOX 40 | Joe Khalil

MODESTO - At a town hall event Tuesday at Modesto Junior College, Congressman Josh Harder took questions from mostly teens about issues that matter to them.

The issues the group ranked as their most pressing were paying for college, climate change and gun control.


Absent from many of the concerns Tuesday was the one subject the congressman hears the most about when he is back in Washington, D.C. - impeachment.


'I've been very cautious about this,' Harder said. 'This was not a political calculation, this is a moral and constitutional obligation. When you have clear evidence of a president putting his own self-interests in front of our nation's security, you have to take action.'

CA-10, 21: Dairy leaders talk in Hilmar about trade and labor. And what 'natural cheese' means
Modesto Bee | John Holland

Dairy industry leaders convened Wednesday at Hilmar Cheese Co. to ask three congressman to help expand their markets. They seek to reduce barriers to exports and to reform immigration laws to bolster the dairy farm workforce. And they want Congress to bar the 'natural cheese' label on products that also contain emulsifiers and other non-milk ingredients. They are also known as 'process cheese.'

The […] meeting included Reps. Josh Harder, T.J. Cox and Jim Costa. Their districts lie at the heart of one of the world's leading dairy regions. Top executives from Hilmar Cheese and eight other California producers took part in the meeting. Afterward, they told The Modesto Bee that foreign trade is a top issue.


Dairy is the top-grossing farm sector in California, with an estimated $6.37 billion in income to farmers in 2018. But they often struggle to make a profit because of labor and feed costs. 'Our dairy industry has been really hurting over the last decade or so,' Harder said. 'Just as we were starting to get that back on track, (President Donald Trump) started these trade wars around the world.'

CA-21: Kern Medical, Rep. TJ Cox host town hall forum on Valley Fever
KGET | Eytan Wallace

Roughly 100 people, including elected officials, medical professionals, students, and Valley Fever patients gathered at Bakersfield College Thursday for a town hall on Valley Fever.

Congressman TJ Cox co-hosted the forum where he discussed Valley Fever-related legislation he plans to introduce in congress.

'This affects so many people and so many communities,' the Congressman said as he spoke on a panel that included medical professionals, patients, and Valley Fever experts.

CA-21: TJ Cox moves forward for Valley Veterans during Town Hall
Valley Voice | Mike Seib

At a Town Hall Meeting Tuesday in Sanger, 21st District Democratic Congressman TJ Cox addressed a multitude of local concerns and illustrated progress regarding water consumption, agriculture and aiding our combat veterans. 'The suicide rate needs to go down to zero,' said Cox, addressing those with Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome, especially those who live in rural areas and don't have easy access to medication, treatment and therapy.


Cox has raised $10 million for PTSD research for those who have put their lives on the line for their American brothers and sisters. This is a 20%-25% increase in appropriations. Even though the struggle continues, hope remains that progress for those feeling hopeless remains. 'We are here to work for the people and be responsive,' said Cox. 'We are very proud about serving our communities.'

CA-48: Rouda Speaks on Local Issues in Newport Beach
Laguna Beach Indy | LB Indy Staff

Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) is making the rounds at various meetings in Newport Beach this week, talking about his time in office so far, addressing local issues, and answering residents' questions.

Rouda is set to speak to constituents in Laguna Beach next week at a meeting on homelessness issues hosted by City Councilman Peter Blake at the Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street, from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 12.

The freshman congressman spoke at two community meetings this week, first at the Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club on Tuesday, Oct. 1, followed by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce's Wake Up Newport on Thursday, Oct. 3.

On Thursday, Rouda gave a brief speech, covering his reasons for running, what he's been doing in Washington and touting a few accomplishments, before diving into the Q&A portion of the meeting.

Resident Dennis Baker asked Rouda about water quality issues, specifically where federal waters are concerned, regarding offshore drilling and dredging.

CA-49: Mike Levin Hosts Town Hall on Local Issues

GA-06: Rep. McBath calls on Senate to take up gun safety bills
WAGA-Ch. 5 | Staff

There's a renewed local push for the United States Senate to take action on gun safety.

The group Moms Demand Action joined Democratic Congresswoman Lucy McBath in Dunwoody for a news conference on Thursday afternoon.

Representative McBath said members of Congress worked across the aisle, to pass several bi-partisan gun safety measures this year.

Those include bills requiring background checks on all gun sales, as well a Strong Red Flag Bill but McBath went on to say, those measures are now stuck in the Senate.

Rep. McBath then urged the public to take action themselves, and call on their senators to move gun safety measures forward.

IA-03: Axne Brings FCC Commissioner to Iowa, Says Rural Broadband Can Save Small Towns
WHO TV | Dan Hendrickson

US Representative Cindy Axne says Iowa can reverse the trend of shrinking small towns by bringing faster data to rural parts of the state.

On Thursday Axne welcomed FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to Madison and Warren Counties to meet with Iowans to discuss rural broadband issues. Axne says the lack of high-speed data in rural Iowa is driving away business and young people.

'Communities who still don't have good access and its limiting their ability to build an economic structure,' Axne said, 'You know our towns are starting to fall away a little bit and young people are leaving and we want our young people to stay there.'

IA-03: Axne, Klobuchar hold ag roundtable
KMA Land | Mike Peterson

(Council Bluffs) - A Democratic presidential candidate joins Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne in hosting a special event aimed at agricultural issues.

Axne and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar moderate an agricultural roundtable at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs Thursday morning at 10. Speaking on KMA's 'Morning Line' program Wednesday morning, Axne says part of the discussion will focus on what she calls the Environmental Protection Agency's misuse of biofuel waivers, and its impact on the ag industry.

Iowa Starting Line | Elizabeth Meyer

Congresswoman Cindy Axne told constituents Tuesday the United States had hit a 'crisis point' in its health care system.

'Suffice it to say, you've got a group of people in Congress who truly understand we're at a crisis point,' said Axne, Iowa's 3rd District representative, at a roundtable health care discussion in Des Moines. 'Whether it's rural America or urban America, we all can't afford what we're facing. We have people who are falling through the cracks. We've got a lot that we need to do.'

In spite of a recently launched impeachment inquiry, Axne said House Democrats intended to stay focused on policy solutions to help their home districts.

'I don't worry that anything around the impeachment inquiry will affect Democrats' ability, and the House's ability, to move good bills forward,' Axne told Starting Line. 'I'm doing business as usual.'

For Axne, 'business as usual' included releasing a bill to ward against African Swine Fever on the same day Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

MI-08: Slotkin commits to legislative priorities while GOP impeachment criticism surges
MLive| Malachi Barrett

Slotkin hosted a roundtable in Rochester highlighting bipartisan legislation she sponsored to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Slotkin does not serve on any of the House committees charged with investigating the president and said she hopes to find consensus with Republicans on important issues while the inquiry moves ahead.

'The thing I get pulled over for in Kroger is the cost of health care and the cost of prescription drugs,' Slotkin said. 'A big reason I ultimately decided to run was because of my family's experience when my mom was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer and did not have health insurance at the time.'

The congresswoman, a member of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, is hopeful her Real-Time Beneficiary Drug Cost Bill will pass the House in the next four weeks. It would require Medicare prescription drug plan sponsors to provide patients with information about the cost of drugs before leaving their doctor's office.

'The person at the front desk can tell you, are there any cheaper alternative alternatives covered by your plan, and then which pharmacy you should go to,' Slotkin said. 'The consumer is empowered with information when they leave the doctor's office and don't have to wait until they're at the pharmacy to get that sticker shock.'

MN-02: At Angie Craig forum, Trump impeachment isn't on constituents' minds
Pioneer Press | Bill Salisbury

While social media and cable news shows are consumed with the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Angie Craig's constituents in Eagan, her hometown, had other issues on their minds during a town hall meeting there Monday night.

During an hourlong question-and-answer session, no one in the audience criticized the first-term Democrat for supporting the House's impeachment inquiry.

…'I've been here (in the 2nd Congressional District) for 14 days, and I've only had two people mention impeachment,' [Craig] said.

'People here want to talk about health care and the cost of prescription drugs. They want to talk about infrastructure funding and special education funding and how we support our family farmers.'

MN-02: U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, Sen. Tina Smith tour Nfld. businesses
Northfield News| Sam Wilmes

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig and U.S. Sen. Tina Smith on Monday were given a tour of Northfield businesses and in turn received feedback from local business owners and federal policies.

The legislators, and local business and elected officials visited Aurora Pharmaceutical and downtown businesses that have opened over the last few years, including Imminent Brewing, Reunion and Kahlo, during the approximately 90-minute tour.

…The visit with local officials came as the two congresswomen conduct a rural economy tour.

MN-02: Education tops resident concerns at Craig's Twin Oaks town hall
SW News Media | Meg Britton-Mehlisch

Teachers and school officials in Prior Lake are looking for ways to improve school finances, teacher pay and the achievement gap among students. When Congresswoman Angie Craig, D-Minnesota, came to a local middle school Saturday, they wanted to know how she was helping.

Craig spent an hour-long town hall event in Twin Oaks Middle School talking about a variety of topics including the trade war, prescription drug prices, climate change and impeachment, but education issues rose to the top.

NH-01: Pappas touts effort to lower Rx drug costs | Staff

ROCHESTER - U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas and Protect Our Care New Hampshire and Granite State Progress came together Wednesday for a roundtable discussion about the high cost of prescription drugs.

Pappas talked about his work to pass the Lower Drug Costs Now Act in the U.S House. The legislation would drastically lower prescription drug costs and hold insurance companies accountable, according to the congressman.


'I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to lower prescription drug costs for all Americans,' Pappas said. 'Nobody should have to worry about going bankrupt to access life-saving medication.'

NJ-03: Rep. Andy Kim says more attention needed for U.S. policy in Afghanistan
Burlington County Times | David Levinsky

WESTAMPTON - U.S. Rep. Andy Kim was a diplomat and national security advisor before he was elected to Congress, but even he doesn't have an exact answer for how the nation can safely extract itself from war-torn Afghanistan.

The freshman Democrat admitted as much during a town hall at the county library meeting Saturday, where he told several dozen constituents that the situation in the Asian country remains 'precarious' after 18 years of war and that a hasty exit of the remaining U.S. forces would likely cause a civil war to break out.

'There's a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen,' Kim said during the town hall, where he reported on his recent trip to Afghanistan, Turkey and the Syria-Jordan border as part of a small bipartisan congressional delegation.

The issue of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is an important and personal one for the freshman Democrat, who served as a civilian advisor to generals David Petraeus and John Allen in Afghanistan eight years ago. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he is also has oversight over the U.S. armed services and defense policy.


NM-02: US Rep Xochitl Torres Small visits NMSU to engage student voice

The Round Up | Marianne Salas

Rep. Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District visited campus to speak with students Oct. 2 as part of a series called Congress on your Campus, coordinated by the Associated Students of New Mexico State University's governmental affairs department.

ASNMSU Director of Governmental Affairs Mathew Madrid said that young people don't often engage politically and inviting Rep. Torres Small was an effort on both his and his assistant's part to 'combat the issue.'

'It is important for students to able to communicate with their representatives because our democratic process relies on constituent involvement. For our representatives to do their best work, they must be aware of the opinions of the population who elected them,' Madrid said.

OK-05: KOCO: Rep. Kendra Horn hosts round table on mental health

PA-07: How Rep. Susan Wild Is Balancing The Impeachment Inquiry, Her Constituents' Concerns
NPR| Claudia Grisales

Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Susan Wild recently came out in support of the impeachment inquiry, but her constituents say they want her to focus on pocketbook issues.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: Impeachment may be taking up most of the oxygen on Capitol Hill these days. That's not necessarily the case in House swing districts. One moderate Democrat is balancing pocketbook issues and an investigation of the president. NPR congressional reporter Claudia Grisales has more.

CLAUDIA GRISALES, BYLINE: Susan Wild says she didn't run on impeachment, but she just recently backed a House Democrats inquiry. She's a freshman lawmaker from a labor-heavy district, and she really wants her constituents to know her time is focused on committee work that has nothing to do with investigating the president.

SUSAN WILD: I'm going to say it again so you can tell other people who think that all we're doing down there is, you know, living, breathing and foaming at the mouth for impeachment. I get really testy on this when people say that because I spend 90% of my committee time in education and labor.

PA-07: 'We need young people to succeed.' Congresswoman Susan Wild hosts Allentown forum on child care
The Morning Call | Margie Peterson

How do you keep talented staff for high quality child care centers when paying them what they are worth means a center has to price parents out of the market?

That was one of the questions at the heart of a forum Monday evening at the Resurrected Life Community Church in Allentown that attracted about 150 people. The forum was organized by U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, the Lehigh Valley congresswoman who brought in federal, state and local panelists to answer questions from the public and encourage advocacy for more government subsidies for parents who need child care.


'One of the remarks I get most often … is along the lines of 'Well, nobody helped me so why should my tax dollars go to help other people, or youngsters in the community, when nobody helped me?'' Wild said.

She said the answer is society and the economy depend on an educated workforce. 'We need young people to succeed, so they can continue to build our economy and grow our economy,' Wild said. 'So that people who want to retire someday have a base of working people who are there to help them and the Social Security system. It's really a community-based effort to make our economy continue to work. It starts with making sure people get the education they need.'

SC-01: Rep. Cunningham meets with local fisherman on Shem Creek to discuss climate change concerns
WCSC-Ch. 5 Charleston | Alexis Simmons

The changing climate is impacting the fishing industry in the Lowcountry.

On Monday, Congressman Joe Cunningham met with fisherman and other stakeholders who have been impacted by the changing ocean climate.

Cunningham toured Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant.

He is introducing legislation on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. to help Lowcountry fishermen plan for the future and make sure they have the tools necessary to keep fishing sustainable for generations to come.

'They have to go out and bring in a few hundred pounds of shrimp every trip in order to break even, and some days they're just not doing that and a lot of it has to do with the changing in conditions,' Cunningham said. 'I think we need to recognize that and facts should not be partisan.'

He says he learned that in August the surface water temperature in Shem Creek was around 89 degrees, and the average in the past was 83 degrees.

'So a six degrees difference is huge, we all know what a one degree difference can make,' Cunningham said.

Cunningham says the bill he's introducing is called the Climate Ready Fisheries Act of 2019. He says it instructs the government accountability office to produce reports showing how different fisheries are making changes to address climate change.

'It's in issue that's not going away. It's an issue we're going to have to come together on. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and actually effectuate change,' Cunningham said. 'There's a lot at stake here.'

The meeting was organized by the Good Catch Program through the South Carolina Aquarium. It supports local fisheries and sustainable seafood practices.

VA-02: Congresswoman Luria highlights environmental priorities with Chesapeake Bay Advisory Board
News 13 Now | Staff

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Congresswoman Elaine Luria this week met with her office's Chesapeake Bay Advisory Board to brief the region's key stakeholders about her legislative efforts to protect and preserve the Chesapeake Bay.

Experts in agriculture, aquaculture, and conservation also shared updates on topics including fisheries management and ongoing environmental restoration efforts during the meeting.

Luria gave an update on the Chesapeake Bay Reauthorization Act, which she introduced in March.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the legislation and recommended it for a vote in the full House of Representatives.


'The Chesapeake Bay is an invaluable economic, environmental, and recreational resource that we must keep clean and thriving for future generations,' Congresswoman Elaine Luria said. 'It was a pleasure to meet with members of our Chesapeake Bay Advisory Board to discuss how we can improve the health of our Bay. I will continue to lead bipartisan efforts that preserve and protect this national treasure.'

VA-07: Spanberger starts education tour in Culpeper
Culpeper Star Exponent | Clint Schemmer


The freshman Democrat came to talk with Head Start staff members during the first stop of a two-day Education Tour of localities across Central Virginia. Then came the fun stuff: meeting and chatting with dozens of Head Start students in their school on Old Fredericksburg Road.

At day's end, after also visiting three more schools in Goochland and Chesterfield counties, Spanberger was still pumped up about her Culpeper experience.

'I was so impressed with the program,' she said in a phone interview. 'It's a beautiful facility. Clearly, it has a tremendously committed staff. The kids are just precious. And I think the program is proof of the value of Head Start programs in our communities.'

The lawmaker noted that Culpeper Head Start has helped working parents, opened fields for intramural sports, renovated an old school, and improved a neighborhood.

'When we're focused on making sure that our kids have opportunities even at the very earliest stages of their life, the consequences extend far beyond the individual child to their family and the larger community,' she said.