THE COMPLETE 14 PERCENT: You’re Not Yelping
Pete Aguilar (D; CA-31)
I’ve Seen it Before
Sometimes sympathy and concern are not enough – you have to have a real stake in the game to understand the possible outcomes. And for Pete, the only Latino on the Jan. 6th investigation committee, his identity as a Latino lawmaker is wrapped up in how he views what happened that day. In a recent interview he talked about how many Latinos, especially those from countries in political turmoil, understand how precious democracy is. This all came in response to Trump ally, Rep. Jim Jordan, refusing to assist the committee. While that’s frankly not surprising at all, we thought Pete’s framing of the events from a more global perspective were worth considering!
Brendan Boyle (D; PA-2)
If you like Brendan then you probably agree with his assessment that the Jan. 6th attacks were an attack on democracy and could spell out bad news if not treated seriously enough. If you don’t like Brendan (or you’re just so, so), then still listen to what he had to say about the investigation into Jan. 6th because it’s a notable comparison: “Imagine if, after Watergate, the only people who were prosecuted were the five burglars.” Do you think the investigative committee is warranted in digging as deep as it seems they are?
Jared Golden (D; ME-2)
Remember when Congress passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill and the president made it law? Did that seem like years ago?? It was literally a couple months ago – how time flies. BUT, the cool thing is that we’re already starting to see the results of the bill in action. Jared pointed out a project in his district funded by the bill – a clean up at a contaminated mine site. These small projects are going to stop popping up all over so keep an eye out and decide if you think the bipartisan bill was a worthy cause!
Andy Kim (D; NJ-3)
So, it’s really hard not to love Andy. Whatever your politics he just seems like a great guy that’ll perk you up when you’re down. On the 1-year anniversary of Jan. 6th he posted a Twitter thread simply meant to lift our spirits. “You’ve seen lots of photos today of the Capitol at its worst, so I want to shift gears/end the day reminding you of its stunning beauty.” The subsequent tweets contain videos and photos of some remarkable views from the Capitol, many featuring Andy grinning proudly. Call us suckers, but we couldn’t help but smile!
Joe Neguse (D; CO-2)
Fire, Fire, Everywhere
When it comes to fighting wildfires legislatively – Joe is your man. He introduces bill after bill in an attempt to curb one of the most horrific upticks in natural disasters we’ve witnessed over the past few years. And for him, it’s close to home. The recent fires in Colorado were right in his backyard and he accompanied the president and First Lady to see the damage. Then, he wasted no time before speeding up the introduction of the Western Wildfire Support Act which will modernize how the country confronts wildfires through preventative measures and increased funding in fighting the fires if and when they come. This guy is on fire – no pun intended.
Chris Pappas (D; NH-1)
By now, we’ve all heard about or, God forbid, witnessed the havoc that fentanyl can wreak on families and communities. BUT, did you know that fentanyl is not yet officially a Schedule I narcotic? Last week, Chris led a bipartisan letter to Congressional leadership to prioritize Congressional action to stop fentanyl trafficking by permanently classifying it as a Schedule I substance and giving law enforcement and experts the resources they need. Overdose deaths in 2021 topped 100,000…
Darren Soto (D; FL-9)
We will admit, we’re still wrapping our heads around cryptocurrency and blockchain technology (sorry!), BUT it has reached mainstream politics in a very real way. Darren has joined a handful of other politicians in accepting cryptocurrency donations for his 2022 reelection campaign. “This is an interesting new financial asset for young people,” he said, “45% of those using cryptocurrencies are millennial and 13% are Gen Z.” Darren isn’t just thinking crypto when it comes to his campaign, but also is a co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. So, are some crypto donations in your future?
Eric Swalwell (D; CA-15)
Not So Fast…
You may recall Democrats taking unprecedented action when they stripped Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar of their committee assignments for some rather, let’s just say, unsavory actions. Well, as the 2022 midterms draw nearer, could-be Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is foaming at the mouth to get back at Dems with a taste of their own medicine. And Eric is on the chopping block. McCarthy said this week that he would strip Eric of his assignments based on his past contact with a Chinese spy (despite the fact that Eric disclosed the info to the FBI). However, it’s not November yet and Eric’s not going to go so quietly – “If he thinks he’s silencing me, he’s not.”
Lauren Underwood (D; IL-14)
A Voice for Moms
If you’ve been keeping track of Lauren, you know that she is all-in on maternal health. Last week, she joined Vice President Harris’ Maternal Health Day of Action and interviewed legendary Olympic track star Allyson Felix about what moms can do to protect themselves. In the interview, Lauren spoke about why it is so important for mothers to be able to identify warning signs of complications in their pregnancies and children and Allyson responded with a rather poignant comment – “Until the systems are in place to really reach everyone, we need to be able to speak up.”
Jim Banks (R; IN-3)
Jim B. x NY Times? Say it ain’t so! Jim retweeted a recent article in the Times about the detrimental effects of school closures on children. Jim followed up that tweet with his own op-ed from a year and a half ago about how “children were about to get the short end of the stick”. Though most can agree that closed schools aren’t stellar for kids, do you think Jim and other Republicans are about to get a ‘W’ in this column as more and more schools opt for remote learning during this omni-surge?
Matt Gaetz (R; FL-1)
For the Love of Drugs
On Matt’s podcast, aptly named ‘Firebrand’ he went all-in on the legalization of drugs and all-out on the 1970 Controlled Substances Act that made marijuana more illegal than heroin. As one of the handful of Republicans who voted in favor of a comprehensive drug reform bill last year, he’s a little peeved at Dems who insist on having other equity provisions like record expungement, etc. in the bill. These measures, Gaetzy claims, could be prohibiting some real bipartisan movement.
Lance Gooden (R; TX-5)
Stick to Venmo
Lance hates China, like, a lot. So it’s no surprise that he’s leading the charge when it comes to looking out for American athletes at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic games. He and a handful of other lawmakers wrote to the U.S. Olympic committee requesting that they forbid American athletes from using China’s digital currency payment. Does that mean athletes will just use… regular old cash???
Dusty Johnson (R; SD)
Sharing is Caring
We love a good library, don’t you? Well, if you’re a farmer you’re REALLY going to love Dusty’s new library for cattle contracts to create more transparency around terms being offered by packers. His bipartisan bill creating this library just passed the house 411-13. More information for farmers leads to more competition in the industry which is all around a great thing! Kudos to Dusty on this win!
Markwayne Mullin (R; OK-2)
Just Another Day
In case you were living under a rock last week, Democrats did a lot of media-ing to commemorate the attack on the Capitol on 1/6/21. Republicans were less enthused about the fanfare, most refusing to even comment. Markwayne however, who notably helped protect fellow lawmakers on the House floor that day, did issue a statement saying that 1/6/22 was “just going to be a day for me”. He did follow up with “I’m just going to move forward with my life… I’m going to realize that there’s still some lessons that can be learned there and I’m going to do better myself and that’s the only thing I can control.”
Bryan Steil (R; WI-1)
All About That J-O-B
Seems like you can’t even take a stroll down the block these days without someone commenting on the recent jobs numbers, amirite?? Bryan noted in a recent statement that the percentage of Americans working remains historically low. The labor force participation rate remains near its lowest level in 45 years – just under 62%. Bryan, unsurprisingly, is not a fan of the Biden administration’s plans to get back on track. Will he and other Republicans be able to get any policies through in this still Dem-controlled Congress?
Lee Zeldin (R; NY-1)
You gotta love passion in politics and Lee certainly has some when it comes to NY Gov. Hochul’s new mandate for healthcare workers to get the COVID booster shot. He even used exclamation points in his statement! Citing the issue of hospitals already being short staffed Lee, who wants Hochul’s job we’d remind you, said “It’s time to respect medical freedom, follow ALL of the science, return to normal, and let New Yorkers go on with their lives.” Let’s! Hear! It! For! Passion!
Kyrsten Sinema (D; AZ)
The Lady and the Infrastructure
Kyrsten made her passion for physical infrastructure known when she helped broker the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed into law late last year. Now, she’s doing her victory lap, applauding the Dept. of Transportation’s decision to give $25 million to AZ highway repairs and visiting a Light Rail extension project that will benefit from a historic investment in public transit. Take a moment to picture Kyrsten, cozying up by a fire with a subway car and a bridge. Isn’t it romantic?
Jake Auchincloss (D; MA-4)
We’re Just Unique!
There’s a lot more that’s unique about Massachsettes than its accent. LIKE the way it funds public education. Due to an act passed in 2019 that aimed to close funding gaps, especially in low-income areas, Massachusetts calculates its state funding for education just a bit differently. And differently is great UNTIL it comes to reimbursement programs like the American Rescue Plan. Jake and MA Senator Markey recently wrote to Treasury Sec. Yellen expressed concern that Massachusetts is going to be unfairly penalized when the Rescue Act counts Covid-related revenue losses. Sometimes this whole state system we have going on can get a bit messy!
Sara Jacobs (D; CA-53)
Go for NGO
Sara has an extensive history in foreign policy and foreign aid so when it comes to issues of humanitarian aid, we tend to trust her assessment! This time around, it’s dealing with the aftermath of the Afghanistan withdrawal and the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that are still operating there. She led a letter signed by 36 other members of Congress urging the Biden administration to issue new General Licenses to support education activities led by NGOs and allow them to keep providing assistance. Sara also spoke about her experience on 1/6/21 last week. If you want to hear more about how that day affected her, check out our conversation with her from last year!
Madison Cawthorn (R; NC-11)
We all know Madison <3 Trump, but could his love run so deep that he actually gets disqualified from seeking reelection? A lawsuit was filed this week to disqualify him from seeking reelection based on his speech and involvement in the rally that preceded the Capitol insurrection. The voters filing the legal challenge cite the 14th amendment that states no person “who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress… shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion”. Madison’s ready to fight back, obviously, but do you think there’s any legal ground for this to stand on?
Peter Meijer (R; MI-3)
A Bill Becomes aNDAA Law
We imagine it’s pretty exciting when a congressman’s bill becomes law, so we’ll throw Peter a little digital victory party on this one. Because at the close of 2021, Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2022 (which allocates federal funds for defense spending) and Peter’s legislation to increase awareness of human trafficking indicators made the final cut! The bill strengthens law enforcement and the public’s ability to recognize and respond to signs of human trafficking. Sounds like a good law to us!
Jake LaTurner (R; KS-2)
An Investment is an Investment
It may be a hard pill for a Republican congressman to follow, but kudos to Jake for announcing and praising the $13 million in grants from the Dept. of Agriculture (under the Biden administration). These dollars come from a USDA investment of $5.2 billion to rural communities in 46 states and Puerto Rico following the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Honestly, we need to see moments like this because even when everyone’s fighting at the Capitol, the results are what matter and Jake and his constituents will surely be pleased with this one.
Nancy Mace (R; SC-1)
Tiny Homes for Big Problems
If you tend to swoon over trendy real estate, there’s a good chance tiny homes have taken over your social media feeds. But when they’re not being done up for lavish photoshoots, these mini domiciles can serve a really important purpose. Nancy introduced the bipartisan Tiny Homes for Homeless Veterans Act which would create a pilot program to distribute grants so communities can build individualized and sustainable tiny homes in villages for homeless veterans. Let the tiny home revolution continue! For everyone.
Nicole Malliotakis (R; NY-11)
Test One, Test All!
We’re sick of Covid… you too? Now that we’re all on the same page here, let’s recognize Nicole for helping to address one of the most loathed parts of this hellish existence we’re all in right now – Covid testing lines. She announced last week that her office is partnering with local pharmacies and medical facilities across Staten Island and South Brooklyn to expand access to PCR tests and alleviate long lines. “Once again the small business community is going above and beyond during a time of need,” she said of the local groups she’s working with, which range from urgent cares to restaurants. Have you heard of any politicians in your community working to address any of these simple obstacles?
Jon Ossoff (D; GA)
Trade Ya For It
One thing we always like to see from young politicians is throwing a wrench into something that really gets under the skin of many senior/established members. And Jon is not afraid to take up that mantle when it comes to stock trading. He just introduced legislation that would bar members of Congress from holding or trading individual stocks while they’re in elected office. He, himself, voluntarily put his financial assets into a blind trust when he was elected. While Jon waits for a Republican co-sponsor, which is likely, he’s definitely poking at Speaker Pelosi who publicly rejected the idea that members should be blocked from trading. She’s also worth an estimated $46 million…
Nanette Diaz Barragan (D; CA- 44)
The Incredible Port
The port of Long Beach, which is in Nanette’s district, got some much-needed sunshine this week. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, arrived and touted the new infrastructure bill. California is expected to receive $17 billion of port infrastructure. Nanette looks at the bill as not only providing infrastructure, but also an American jobs bill! Supply chain issues have definitely dominated the media and our news stations so hopefully this funding helps things run smoother.
Jason Crow (D; CO-4)
Democracy Toolkit – You Think?
After reflecting on last year and the need to “help” others, Jason released a “Democracy in Action Toolkit” that will help people fight disinformation and conspiracy theories, as well as issue a “Democracy Day” resolution, and preside over testimonials by dozens of lawmakers on what they went through on January 6th. Jason’s hope is to help citizens re-engage with democracy. He has a bullet list of basic civic engagement approaches…will this be helpful, or will people pass it off?
Antonio Delgado (D; NY-19)
The Maple Dairy Leaves
Our maple syrup neighbor has come under scrutiny after a US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) panel concluded that Canada is breaching its USMCA dairy commitments by unfairly administering dairy tariff-rate quotas in a way that harms American dairy farmers. Now U.S. dairy farmers will have access to the Canadian dairy market after suffering from restrictions. Antonio was a leader in sending a bipartisan letter with other PP leaders Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and David Valadao (R-CA).
Ruben Gallego (D; AZ-7)
Upgrade Your Plan?
Sadly, this pandemic has shown major flaws in our system and Ruben has been a leader in fighting for the Native American tribes. Ruben introduced the Tribal Medical Supplies Stockpile Access act which would give Indian organizations access to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) of drugs and medical supplies that can be tapped if a public health emergency exhausts local supplies. As of now, the tribal health authorities have limited access. Hopefully this gives them access to needed medical supplies.
Josh Harder (D; CA-10)
Time To Go Electric
If you live in California, you shake your head every time you fill up your gas tank. With the average price in California at $4.65 per gallon, the highest in the nation which includes the CA gas tax of 51.1 cents per gallon. Josh recommended to the CA Governor by proposing a state pause increase in the Gasoline State Excise Tax during 2022. This gas tax “holiday” would save California families $523 million this year. This week the Governor listened and proposed suspending the gas tax increase in July and potentially even in 2023 and 2024. Fueling up may still hurt for a while, but at least we can take solace in knowing it could have been way worse??
Ro Khanna (D; CA-17)
Rapid Test You Say?
Raise your hand if you got a COVID test in the last couple weeks! Ro and 40 other house members are pushing President Biden to increase the supply and access for COVID rapid tests and remove financial/logistical barriers of access. On December 21, the Biden administration announced plans to purchase 500 million rapid COVID tests and developed a plan to distribute them nationwide. Will this be enough and when do you think the next COVID strain will sweep the nation?
Mike Levin (D; CA-49)
Wow, it must be nice to see something pass with bipartisan support. Mike’s Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act of 2021 passed the House this week which gives the National Guard and Reserve members the same GI benefits as active duty members. The National Guard and Reserve members have been called on many times over the last year for COVID-19, the 1/6 insurrection, protests, border missions, national disasters and Afghanistan plus the refugee crisis…so it’s about time they get the same benefits.
Stephanie Murphy (D; FL-7)
No!!!!! Don’t Leave Us!
Stephanie, a Political Playlist favorite, has said she will not seek re-election this year. Last year she had thrown her hat in for the Florida Senate race and then withdrew, so we are surprised to see this decision. Known as a middle of the road Democrat, Stephanie was a leading voice for the moderates, especially in the infrastructure debates. She has not ruled out running for public office later, but she is leaving to spend more time with her family. We will miss her!
Ilhan Omar (D; MN-5)
Getting Kicked in the…
So far 26 Democrats have announced they do not plan to seek re-election. Looks like some see the writing on the wall of a red wave. Unfortunately for controversial members like Ilhan it will be difficult for her to navigate as minority leader McCarthy (who would most likely be Speaker of the House) has publicly vowed to remove three Democrats off their committee assignments for their previous comments. Ilhan and PP Leader, Eric Swalwell, are both on his short list.
Elissa Slotkin (D; MI-8)
The Michigan redistricting commission approved their new map and Elissa’s district has been drawn through. Elissa quickly announced that she would still seek re-election in the 7th district which now makes up two-thirds of the population she currently represents. Elissa will be challenging a long-time Republican, Tim Walberg, who has represented part of the area since 2007. Looks like Elissa could have a tough race.
Haley Stevens (D; MI-11)
A Primary Concern
Similar to her Michigan friends, like PP leader Elissa Slotkin, Haley’s district also was redrawn by the redistricting commission. This new map put much of the Michigan delegation into a scramble after seeing their districts cut up. Haley announced her intention for re-election in the newly drawn 11th district in which she will face Democrat Andy Levin, part of a Michigan political dynasty, in the Democratic primary. The August 2 primary is sure to be one to watch – do you think Haley can come out on top against political old blood?
Kelly Armstrong (R; ND)
All eyes are on the Supreme Court as they hear the federal vaccine mandate that President Biden plans to put in place on private businesses. Kelly and other North Dakota colleagues joined a legal brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to put a hold on the vaccine mandates. They argue that the mandate cannot be imposed without congressional approval and that it might be best left to states to decide on their own. How do you think this will play out?
Dan Crenshaw (R; TX-2)
Dan tweeted screenshots of an anonymous email that accused the Air Force of lowering standards to give preferential treatment to a woman who was vying to become the first female elite special tactics airmen. The head of the Air Force Special Operations Command responded saying this is not true, but it now puts everything into question. Regardless of gender, Dan wants to make sure that everyone is held to the same standards. We’ve seen a lot of drama revolving around women in the military recently – for better and worse…
Anthony Gonzalez (R; OH-16)
Sweat It Out
Anthony and his colleagues introduced a bill that would provide more healthcare facilities for veterans. The More Opportunities for Veterans to Exercise (MOVE) Act would give the Department of Veteran Affairs to lease more space to include physical fitness and fitness counseling. Fitness training and counseling are critical components to securing greater outcomes for our veterans. We love this idea! Time to pump some iron.
Trey Hollingsworth (R; IN-9)
Another Tragic Loss
Trey just announced this week that he is not seeking a fourth term. He had vowed that he would only see four terms max but is leaving after his third. Trey is the 12th richest congressman so he certainly has a fallback option, but he called out career politicians in his announcement saying, “I ran for Congress to return this government to the people from the career politicians who had broken it, and I will be damned if I become one in the process.” We will miss you Trey, but way to stick to your guns.
Brian Mast (R; FL-18)
With the vaccine mandates at the top of many people’s minds, Brian is shining a light on the report that hundreds of Marines were separated from service after refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. Brian sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Marine Corps to get details on the 200+ Marines who were discharged last month. Also, he cited military readiness with the ongoing threats from Russia and China. In addition to the 200+ Marines that were discharged, the Marines have not granted one religious exemption of the 3,247 requested.
Elise Stefanik (R; NY-21)
Oh Ca-NA-DA…shame on you. Elise was part of a bipartisan group of colleagues that helped settle a dispute between the U.S. and Canada. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) panel ruled in favor of the U.S. that Canada is breaching its commitments under the USMCA by unfairly administering dairy tariff-rate quotas in a way that harms American dairy farmers. Now U.S. dairy farmers will have access to the Canadian dairy market after suffering from restrictions. Who knew milk could cause so much drama!
William Timmons (R; SC-4)
Tense Work Places
In all seriousness, who really wants to work in Congress and what does that mean for the country’s future? Lawmakers from both sides say the Capitol is a “deeply unpleasant place to work.” William blames the Jan. 6 insurrection resulting in members and staff needing to be scanned as they enter the chamber… “It is the tensest it’s been.” William is on the Modernization of Congress committee so hopefully he can institute some systems to help this…DISASTER. Yes, we used that word.
Josh Hawley (R; MO)
No More Stock Accounts
Josh is introducing the Banning Insider Trading in Congress Act which would prohibit Congressional members and their spouses from holding or trading individual stocks. If a member is found in violation, they must return their profits to the American people. Every Congressional cycle we see various politicians get in trouble for buying and selling stocks after important meetings. At Political Playlist we agree this should not be allowed…especially since most of them get book deals!
Mondaire Jones (D; NY-17)
Certify Voting Access…Kind Of
The House just passed the Right to Vote Act (along party lines) and Mondaire couldn’t be happier. He was the first to introduce this bill which gives every citizen the right to vote and protects their vote. It codifies the right to vote for the first time in U.S. history and ensures that courts respect the right to vote as the fundamental right that it is. As well, it protects the right to have one’s vote counted and included in the certified total. While this is a positive step forward it is very unlikely that this passes the Senate without rules changed to the filibuster. We will have to wait and see.
Nikema Williams (D; GA-5)
Damn Energy Bills
Nikema is always looking out for her constituents. Due to extreme weather conditions, she believes energy costs will nearly double this winter. She helped secure ~$135 million for Georgia through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the American Rescue Plan and annual appropriations to help her constituents lower their utility costs or energy repairs. That is a big win for her constituents, but the next step will be making sure her constituents KNOW ABOUT IT.
Lauren Boebert (R; CO-3)
Lauren just got a bit of so-so news with a Republican challenger for her primary by seasoned state senator, Don Coram. Don called “excessive partisanship” the biggest threat to the county’s young republic and he’s able to disagree without being disagreeable. Sounds nice, but Lauren has 30 times more money than her closest opponent, so Don needs to start finding that MOO-LAH! Like every Congressperson, Lauren is writing a book, My American Life, which is set to be released July 12, 2022. We bet $5 that Lauren will be on the cover with one of her rifles!
Tracey Mann (R; KS-1)
Devalue the Police?
Tracey hosted a few town halls to hear from his constituents and one of the main problems he heard about was the concern about devaluing police. After going through a “defund the police” movement across the country, law enforcement has seen various forms of change. It is always interesting to hear the main issues at these town halls and how each district is different compared to other parts of the country. Have you had any contact with law enforcement lately and how was your experience?
Andrew Garbarino (R; NY-2)
Andrew was one of the 13 Republicans to vote for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. The main reason is New York is supposed to get $26+ billion in direct infrastructure benefits. Um, hello, no brainer, but Andrew received death threats for it. The man who threatened Andrew’s life pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and will be taking anger management training. Is that a worthy punishment or just a slap on the wrist for literally threatening to kill an elected official?
Julia Letlow (R; LA-5)
Monoclonal antibody therapy is a treatment to prevent COVID and SARS from entering your body. It is given through an infusion but is not a substitute for the vaccine, but these treatments can help someone who is suffering from an advanced case of COVID. Julia, who lost her husband to Covid, wrote to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make these treatments readily available, especially in rural hospitals. Currently, the government controls the distribution of these treatments and no longer allows health care facilities to obtain treatments directly from manufacturers. Seems like Julia has a point here.
Colin Allred (D-TX-32)
MOVE To The Music
Colin knows a thing or two about the importance of physical fitness—he was a football player, duh! So now he’s helped introduce the MOVE Act, a bipartisan bill looking to expand access to preventative health fitness services for Veterans. Fellow under-45er Anthony Gonzalez, also a former NFL-er, led the way on this no-brainer of a bill. The VA currently has many preventative health programs yet lack the adequate physical space to carry them out. So this bill allows Veterans to lease physical space through VA funding. This sounds like a pretty great deal!
Sharice Davids (D; KS-3)
Heating Up The Frost
To be perfectly frank, living in Southern California makes the team at Political Playlist forget that come January, the indoor heat gets cranking and so too do the bills. Sharice is among the many Congresspeople keeping an eye on the soon-to-be-soaring heating costs. This week, she announced that Kansas has received over $70 million in funding to help families afford energy costs this winter. That’s more than double what the state received last year. Winter in Kansas just got a little warmer.
Conor Lamb (D; PA-17)
Conor is running for the Senate in Pennsylvania and he wasted no time in taking a shot at his likely GOP opponent David McCormick. He took to twitter to offer up a new definition of the verb “MAGA-proof” which Conor defines as the “hiring of campaign operatives not to connect with voters…but to better connect with the twice impeached Floridian and maybe also the white supremacist crowd.” He squarely applied this verb to McCormick who is doing all he can to court the orange endorsement. It’s probably safe to say Conor will not be MAGA-proofing his campaign.
Seth Moulton (D; MA-6)
Democracy In Danger
Sounding the alarm about the safety of our democracy has become a talking point on the left and a mocking point on the right. Except Seth is breaking it down by the numbers, pointing out in a tweet that there’s been over 440 bills introduced in 49 states that are intended to hijack elections and suppress votes. Seth goes further by saying that these state legislatures are trying to finish what the violent mob started on Jan 6. Indeed, democracy is at stake.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D; NY-14)
Not Afraid Of The Fight
Well, the new NYC Mayor has only been on the job for a week and is already getting shots from his local celebrity congresswoman. AOC, never one to back down from a fight, tweeted a defense of “low-skilled workers” after the Mayor made a comment about how they lack the academic skill-set for the corner office. While the comment was taken slightly out of context, AOC nevertheless came back roaring saying “The notion that any job is ‘low skill’ is a myth perpetuated by wealthy interests.” I think it’s safe to say that she’s going to hold this new Mayor accountable, irrespective of party affiliations.
Abigail Spanberger (D; VA-7)
It’s easy to get caught up in the sexiness of electric vehicles and how “easy” it will be to put charging stations at every corner like Starbucks, but there’s a part of this e-convo that’s forgotten about: charging stations in rural areas. Don’t worry, Abigail has a bill for that and it’s geared towards farmers with electric tractors and trucks. Her bipartisan bill looks to provide financial assistance to farmers and rural business owners to install renewable energy systems to better support their electric fleets. Sounds like a positive step towards green!
Rashida Tlaib (D; MI-13)
A Moral Stain
It may be hard to believe but the Guantanamo Bay Prison has been operating now for 20 years and Rashida is once again renewing her calls to the President to close the facility once and for all. She calls it a “disgusting moral failing that goes against everything we as Americans stand for.” Fellow under-45er Ilhan Omar is also joining this cause as are many others. Worth a watch, though brutal as it is, the recent film The Mauritanian, based on a memoir by a former detainee, paints a rather horrific picture of the facility. See that, and you might just join Rashida in her cause.
Mike Gallagher (R; WI-8)
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mike has been vehemently trying to hold China accountable on their reporting of viral outbreaks in their country. He, and many others, believe China has been dishonest every step of the way, and now with the Winter Olympics approaching, he’s doubly concerned. China just locked down their third city—of roughly 20 million people—and has yet to detail the level of covid that has caused this measure. Mike is urging the Olympic committee as well as all participating countries to demand China be forthcoming with their data ahead of the events. He’s right…but do you really think China will play ball?
Jaime Herrera Beutler (R; WA-3)
While the once-beloved show is no longer a staple of Primetime, Jaime is looking to give the iconic moniker some primetime on the House floor. She’s introduced a new bill called COPS which looks to establish grant programs and funding for local police departments. The bipartisan bill would extend funding that allows for more hiring and increased compensation over the next ten years. How much funding you ask? Oh, just about a billion dollars. She’s got the support of fellow under-45er Abigail Spanberger, and the bill seems to have legs. Now just add lights and sirens and we might have something.
Adam Kinzinger (R; IL-16)
Five Alarm Fire Tour
The Elton John song “Rocketman” reminds us that “it’s lonely out in space” and indeed the same could be said for Republican Adam Kinzinger, who continues to double down on his convictions despite the ostracization from his own party. Adam marked the one-year anniversary of Jan 6 with an op-ed in USA TODAY, followed by appearances on just about every cable news show with one singular mission: Sounding the alarm. Again, and again. “Doing the right thing comes with risk…but I don’t regret a single stand I’ve taken for truth, accountability, democracy,” Adam said, defiantly. Indeed, Adam is now throwing his actions to the annals of history who will ultimately be the judge.
Guy Reschenthaler (R; PA-14)
Nothing To See Here
No, that’s not the cover of the new issue of Republican’s Guide To Jan 6, but it sure is how they’re all behaving when asked about the violent (was it?) insurrection (would we call it that?) at the Capitol (the place with the dome?) one year ago. Guy followed many of his fellow R’s by keeping a low profile and issuing zero statements. He did however send out a fundraising email one day prior asking supporters to “stand with him for election integrity.” After just about every election official has proved the past presidential contest to have been above board, it seems that “standing up to election integrity” looks a lot like admitting that you lost. As we learned in T-ball, there’s no shame in that as long as you gave it your best shot.
Greg Steube (R; FL-17)
Release The Juice!
There’s a particularly effective covid medical treatment known as monoclonal antibody drugs that have been critical for vaccinated folks who find themselves with a particularly bad case of covid. However, Greg believes that HHS Secretary Bacerra has been too heavy-handedly controlling the disbursement of this powerful drug at the expense of many. Now he’s writing to the Secretary calling for HHS to reverse its allocation of the drugs and return to a state-based model. That would allow states and local healthcare providers to directly order this drug from manufacturers. This all begs the question, if it’s so effective, why isn’t it readily available for all those who want or need it?
Tom Cotton (R; AK)
Back You Go
At the start of the Covid pandemic, many prison inmates were furloughed to home confinement on account of health safety yet according to Tom, many remain at home. He’s now written to the Attorney General saying these inmates must return to prison. He argues that this procedure was only lawful during the “covid state of emergency” which has now ended. He challenges the department’s Office of Legal Counsel in saying their recent reversal of their January 2021 conclusion is simply “bowing to the pressure from political activists.” Is this a Scrooge move or simply a man trying to follow the law?
Ritchie Torres (D; NY-15)
The Omicron surge has hit the South Bronx particularly hard, and Ritchie has been working overtime to help get his district what they need. Right now it’s home testing kits. Just the other day, Ritchie was out there distributing more than 1,000 at-home kits. But he’s tweeting the Feds asking for more kits because these things are selling out faster than NYC pretzels in Time Square. Back to our big question of How Would You Rate Your Government? I think Ritchie might say hurry up with the testing kits, please.
Jamaal Bowman (D; NY-16)
Bills Be Damned
Anyone from the Northeast or the Midwest, or I suppose now Texas, knows that as the holidays near, so too does that mega whopper of a heating bill. Jamaal knows it too, which is why he’s writing to the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission—who knew we had one of those? Jamaal is urging the agency to use its authority to help protect consumers against unfairly high energy costs, like some of those insane $10,000 bills we saw in Texas last year. While you’re at it, anything you can do on my cable bill?
Cori Bush (D; MO-1)
This Isn’t Over, Buddy!
During the last week of 2021, positive Covid cases shattered the previous record in the state of Missouri and yet, Governor Parson announced he would allow Missouri’s state of emergency to expire on December 31st at midnight. Well Cori had something to say about that, and she was joined by the Mayor of St. Louis in issuing a blistering statement to the Governor, urging him to extend the state of emergency. They said he is weakening the hospital system by removing the flexibility afforded them by the emergency action and thereby hampering their ability to manage this crisis. Do you know what the current covid state is in your town or city?
David Valadao (R; CA-21)
Taking Action Over Spilt Milk
Back in May 2021, David noticed that Canada wasn’t exactly living up to its end of the dairy trade agreement. So he joined several colleagues in urging the US Agriculture Secretary to take immediate action to enforce Canada’s commitments per the USMCA trade agreement. Well, lo and behold, the new year greeted David with some validation, as a USMCA panel found Canada was in fact in breach of its obligations to the US dairy industry. David took his victory lap directly to those dairy producers in his district, saying “the panel’s landmark decision will allow American dairy farmers and manufacturers to enjoy the fair competition they are entitled to.”
Kat Cammack (R; FL-3)
Flag On The Play
Kat has proven to be a very disciplined and effective freshman Republican messenger however she said some stuff this week that we want to call out. In her bold—and likely—claims that Republicans are going to take back the house in 2022, she pledged that they will get to the bottom of issues like “election integrity and the Chinese coronavirus.” Okay, so here’s the deal: Political Playlist is all about education and turning down the conversation heat. Continuing to perpetuate fabricated election integrity conspiracies and nationalistic fear-mongering do neither of those two things. We want our leaders to run on principled and fact-based platforms, whatever those platforms may be, so when we see them running on something else, we’re gonna say do better.
Byron Donalds (R;FL-19)
As if Bryon didn’t have enough on his plate with his regular duties, he’s decided to take on more responsibilities. Byron announced he’s joining two additional caucuses—the bipartisan House Everglades Caucus and the bipartisan House Blockchain Caucus. The first caucus works to prioritize necessary funding for Florida’s everglades, while the second looks to better understand this emerging and rapidly growing new financial technologies. Byron intends to use his experience in the financial services industry to better bridge the gap here when it comes to legislating. Ultimately what this really means is more meetings and longer hours for Byron, to which we say, amen!
Ashley Hinson (R; IA-1)
Winter Is Here
Ashley continues to sound the heating-bill alarm bells as winter has now firmly arrived in her state and many living paycheck to paycheck struggle to make ends meet, let alone cover the cost of their exorbitant heating bills. Ashley has been calling on the Biden administration to harness domestic resources to help bring down these costs. As a result, the New York Times now reports that they’ve released almost $3.75 billion in low-income energy assistance. Thanks for keepin’ ‘em honest Ashley!
Victoria Spartz (R; IN-5)
Supply Chain Inspector
Victoria joined a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the National Critical Capabilities Defense Act (NCCDA), which would establish a review process aimed at protecting US supply chains from foreign adversaries like China and Russia. This legislation would create a screening process for outbound investments in these countries, and create a system whereby the United States can quickly detect supply chain vulnerabilities in these pipelines. This seems like a pretty good start towards correcting the worldwide delays we find ourselves in today.
Tony Gonzales (R; TX-23)
Yes, Tony can sometimes sound like a broken record when it comes to sounding the alarm on border security but it’s kind of for good reason. In a recent Fox News interview, he said “it’s not so happy a new year at the southern border because nothing has changed.” As we take to our yelp review of the government, we give props to Tony for relentlessly pushing for action and change at what is obviously a situation that has yet to be solved. What will it take for congress to take action, and Tony asks more specifically, what will it take for the Democrats to take action? They’re the ones in charge right now.
Blake Moore (R; UT-1)
Reflect and Rewrite?
The torrent of revisionist history when it comes to the Republican party’s collective recollection of the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol has been rather stunning. Blake, on the other hand, hasn’t changed his tune about just how terrifying his fourth day in his new job really was. “I actually called my wife and I’m like, ‘I don’t know what’s about to happen.” That’s what he said and that is revolting that he had to endure that kind of incident. And in order to ensure no member of congress has to experience that again, Blake’s calling for clarity on the constitutionality of certifying elections. In other words, the members who voted not to certify did so under the belief they were taking a constitutional approach as well. Blake wants Congress to address whether or not objecting is in fact constitutional. Is a supreme court case looming here?
August Pfluger (R; TX-11)
Strength In Numbers
August joined over 130 of his House colleagues and over 40 Senate Republicans in filing an amicus brief to the Supreme Court so they may decide whether Biden’s proposed vaccine mandate is constitutional. The Republican party writ large has taken up this issue faster than AOC finding an open microphone at a press conference, and as of late this week, the Supreme Court has officially ruled it unconstitutional for the Government to implement this rule in most cases. They did allow for implementation among healthcare workers, and the private sector will determine their own standards. Neither side seems to be backing down but this is definitely a win for August and his fellow R’s.
Melanie Stansbury (D, NM-1)
Redistricting Paint By Numbers
Melanie’s district has just been redrawn and spoiler alert, it ain’t in her favor. Her constituency has expanded to include much more of Valencia County which leans far more conservative than the current political scales of her district. And she’s up for reelection this year so she’s got her work cut out for her. Good news is she won her previous race in a landslide so if she can harness that same mojo, then she’ll help put up a good fight in the Dems quest to keep the house.