Rep. Luis Gutiérrez: FAIR and allies “want to take our immigration policies back to the 1920s”

Luis GutiérrezIt is like DW Griffith might rise up from his grave to film “Rebirth of a Nation–the Sequel” because FAIR [Federation Against American Immigration Reform] and its allies want to take our immigration policies back to the 1920s when the Klan marched openly in Washington and legal immigration was reduced to almost zero.

—Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D–IL)

Immigrant Heritage Month, House Floor, June 28, 2017

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Rep. Matt Cartwright: Health care tort reform runs afoul of the Magna Carta

Matt CartwrightMr. Chairman, here we are dealing with some amount of irony with HR 1215. The year 1215 was the year the Magna Carta was signed, something that created the seeds of the American right to jury trial, for Heaven’s sake.

You know, we were pleased to hear Representative Duncan from Tennessee say: “Conservatives believe strongly in the jury system.”

And I do, too, and Americans do, too.

Our Founding Fathers believed in it.

Here in America, where we trust juries to decide life and death for criminal defendants, why wouldn’t we trust them to set a proper and fair dollar amount on a malpractice case?

—Rep. Matt Cartwright (D–PA)

Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017, House Floor, June 28, 2017

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Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay: Evoking MLK, Philando Castile’s shooter “did not act alone”

William ClayI will close with this: a brief teaching from the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the occasion of another needless tragedy, the police killing of civil rights worker Jimmie Lee Jackson by an Alabama State trooper in 1965. In his eulogy, King said: “A State trooper pointed the gun, but he did not act alone. He was murdered by the brutality of every sheriff who practices lawlessness in the name of the law.”

—Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D–MO)

On Philando Castile and the Police Training and Independent Review Act of 2017, House Floor, June 27, 2017

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Sen. Patrick Leahy: Cold War Cuba restrictions treated people “as pawns in a political game”

Patrick Leahy

How well did restricting travel by Americans to Cuba work from 1961 until 2014, when President Obama relaxed those Cold War restrictions, decades after the Russians had abandoned the island and Cuba no longer posed any threat to us? It failed miserably. At the same time, it treated the Cuban and American people as pawns in a political game.

Throughout those many years, the Castro government had a ready excuse for its own failings and repressive policies. They could blame it on the United States, and for many years, the Cuban people believed it because we, with our embargo, wouldn’t let Americans travel to Cuba or do business there.

—Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–VT)

Trump Administration Cuba Policy,  Senate Floor, June 26, 2017

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Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee: Obamacare fulfilled Harry Truman’s promise

Sheila Jackson-Lee

In 1949, Harry Truman became the first sitting President to propose universal healthcare for all Americans as part of the “Fair Deal.” On March 23, 2010, with the stroke of President Obama’s pen, the American people received this part of the “Fair Deal.”

—Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D–TX)

Wealth Care over Healthcare and Contributions of Caribbean Americans, House Floor, June 26, 2017

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Rep. Lloyd Doggett: 1990s welfare reform “became welfare for Republican governors”

Lloyd DoggettI believe that we need to be working together to try to find genuine solutions and that working together is not just here in this House, in Congress, because the big problem here is that, when we voted in 1996–and I voted for it, for moving from welfare to work–we expected the States to be partners in that effort.

Unfortunately, while we did change fundamentally and end welfare as we know it, it became welfare for Republican Governors who wanted to use these Federal moneys not to assist the poor, but to assist their States fill various budget gaps.

—Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D–TX)

Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act, House Floor, June 23, 2017

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Sen. Patrick Leahy: Shelby County v. Holder “has taken this country back to an era before the Civil Rights movement”

Patrick LeahyBut the Supreme Court’s decision [Shelby County v. Holder] has taken this country back to an era before the Civil Rights movement–a bad time in our history where some states openly discriminated against minority voters.

Just yesterday, we marked the 53rd anniversary of three civil rights activists who were killed in Mississippi for registering minorities to vote. Continue reading Sen. Patrick Leahy: Shelby County v. Holder “has taken this country back to an era before the Civil Rights movement”

Rep. Jaren Huffman: Trump wrong on the Hoover Dam, big projects take time

Jared HuffmanIn this statement, Rep. Jared references a Washington Post fact-check which can be found here.

A couple of weeks ago, President Trump claimed that projects like the Hoover Dam were built in 5 years because they didn’t have to go through years of permitting and regulation that current infrastructure projects are subjected to.

In fact, dam planning on the Colorado River began in 1902, yet the Hoover Dam was not completed until 1937. Continue reading Rep. Jaren Huffman: Trump wrong on the Hoover Dam, big projects take time

Rep. Karen Bass: 1990s was the first time women abused drugs as much as men

Karen BassIronically, in the 1990s, when the crack cocaine epidemic hit, that was the first time that women started using drugs equal to men. It hadn’t happened before, and so families fell apart.

—Rep. Karen Bass (D–CA)

Reducing Unnecessary Barriers for Relative Foster Parents Act, House Floor, June 20, 2017

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Rep. Karen Bass: During the crack epidemic, “we punished the mothers”

Karen BassIn the 1990s, when the crack cocaine epidemic hit, we didn’t understand much about addiction, and so we were angry. We punished the mothers. We imprisoned the mothers. We took the children away, and we didn’t realize that actually not addressing the underlying substance abuse issue would really be more harmful to the children than removing them and putting them into foster care.

—Rep. Karen Bass (D–CA)

Partnership Grants to Strengthen Families Affected by Parental Substance Abuse Act, House Floor, June 20, 2017

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