Dear Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer,
On July 23, 2022, twenty-four prominent civic advocates and leaders, many of whom you know, made a Zoom presentation for congressional candidates and staff about how to readily defeat the worst GOP – by numerous measures – in history. These presenters were brought together by Mark Green and I. It was not easy to get through the screen of corporate-conflicted political/media consultants to reach candidates. This is a problem the Democratic Party has to confront as it looks back and to see why winnable congressional contests were lost or just narrowly won.
Visit winningamerica.net and judge for yourselves how effective these policies, strategies, tactics, messaging, rebuttals, slogans and techniques for GOTV would have been if they were applied before the election on November 8, 2022.
The DNC, DCCC and SCRC were apprised of these suggestions. They seemed to approve, but whether they conveyed them with the requisite urgency to their candidates is doubtful. Our hunch is that the effort to spread the word was minimal, and when some of the suggestions were used, it was too little too late. The idea – that adopting the principle that all of us are smarter than any one of us, would in many instances have taken close losing and winning races over the finish line with comfortable margins and majorities – is not far-fetched.
Turning to the present opportunities until January 3, 2023, the following suggestions – some repeated, some new – are submitted to the current Democratic Congress to roll up its sleeves, hold concise hearings, pass overdue legislation, or at least conclude the session with a popular agenda to greet the incoming Trumpster Dumpster at the House of Representatives. The Democrats have one “last clear chance” to present an agenda that will benefit the American people where they live, work and raise their families.
Hearings: Hold one or two days of precise hearings on necessities – for children, women, workers, consumers, local communities and the climate crisis – to frame the electoral policy contest for 2024. Invite strong input from civic community groups known or knowable to you.
Legislation: Pass bills to: (1) raise minimum wage to $15, (2) enact Rep. John Larson’s Social Security protection bill (H.R. 5723), (3) ratify/statutorily Biden’s student debt forgiveness program, (4) require a corporate crime database (H.R. 9362 and S.5141– just introduced by Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)), (5) ratify the EPA clean air regulation invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court, (6) require Senate confirmation of the national security advisor and White House counsel, (7) adopt a concurrent resolution finding that Donald J. Trump was implicated in the insurrection against the United States and is thus disqualified from holding any office of the United States or any State under section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, (8) propose Medicare-for-All, (9) require penalties if the Pentagon fails to comply with a 1992 federal statute requiring auditable budgets be submitted to Congress, (10) pass a resolution calling on President Biden to begin cease-fire negotiations with Vladimir Putin on the war in Ukraine, (11) repeal the huge Trump tax cut of 2017 for the super-rich and large corporations; enact the long-overdue restoration of a stock transaction sales tax to raise revenues to support important social safety nets and diminish enlargement of the deficit, and (12) enact pending electoral reform legislation.
What can’t pass through Senate “reconciliation,” or with GOP support, remains on the table to inform the citizenry that the outgoing Congress strove toward the idea of being a Congress for the people and exercising more of its constitutional duties.
The above is doable under an accelerated rhythm of an outgoing Democratically-controlled Congress. Recesses would need to be curtailed, but how does that compare to the enhancement of the lives and livelihoods of the American people, who all bleed the same color, who are about to be assaulted by the incoming cruel and corrupt gerrymandered House GOP?
You have about half a dozen legislative deadlines and priorities to enact. However, you have many committees and subcommittees with budgeted staff ready to move on the suggested legislation and other bills and resolutions. Make history, not excuses of being pre-occupied with bills on your table. You can decentralize these initiatives and loosen the reigns of your highly concentrated management for the sake of the greater good both inside Congress and, most importantly, throughout the land.