Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Nancy Pelosi (AP/Salon)

Robert Reich: What to expect of House Democrats

The fight has only just begun


Robert Reich
January 5, 2019 9:00AM (UTC)
This originally appeared on Robert Reich's blog.

Democrats are now in control of the House of Representatives, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I know and have worked with many of them. They are people of integrity who will strive to do what’ right for America. Pelosi is tough and courageous. Were it not for her insistence, Obama would not have pushed for the Affordable Care Act.

But they are not miracle workers. Republicans still control the Senate.

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They will make life harder for Trump, to be sure. They will investigate. They have the power of subpoena. The House Ways and Means Committee is specifically authorized to subpoena Trump’s tax returns. They might even move to impeach Trump, if Mueller reports what I expect him to.

But they will do little to change the growing imbalance of wealth and power in this country unless they are pushed to do so. Do not ever underestimate the influence of Wall Street Democrats, corporate Democrats, and the Democrat’s biggest funders. I know. I’ve been there.

This is where you come in. Millions of us worked hard to create a “blue wave” and put Democrats in control of the House. But our work is not over by any stretch. Nothing good happens in Washington unless good people outside Washington are organized and mobilized to make it happen.

We must support Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats when they need our support to do the right things. We also need to push them when they need pushing. And we must fight them when they begin to cave.

So keep vigilant and active. Stay involved in the grassroots organizations that spearheaded the Democrat’s victory in November — groups like Indivisible.org, MoveOn.org, aflcio.org, blacklivesmatter.org, swingleft.org, face2face-action.org, commoncause.org, friendsoftheearth.org, greenpeace.org, ourrevolution.org, publiccitizen.org, and workingfamilies.org, to name only a few. And if you’re not yet activist members, join them.

The fight has only just begun.

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Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written 15 books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's also co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism."

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