In the last Congress, Democrats accomplished almost everything they set out to do. They passed pandemic relief aid that included a temporary expansion of the child tax credit, a multibillion-dollar infrastructure bill that has eluded lawmakers for decades, a subsidy legislation aimed at maintaining competitiveness with China and the Inflation Reduction Act, which combined long-sought efforts. -after corporate taxes increased with money to reduce carbon emissions and expand public health insurance.
If you ask voters what they think about all that and pollsters do, they are often unimpressed. It’s a conundrum that has Democrats across the country confused and scared. But Suzan DelBene, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, isn’t too worried yet. People are just starting to see the impact of that,” she said. Now that money is flowing, projects are starting and people are feeling it.
DelBene also told Heard on the Hill that she thinks voters and other lawmakers will consider the need for national data privacy standards, which she has advocated for for years now. Just work, don’t get distracted and everything will work out in the end, she seemed to suggest.
When we spoke on the House steps last month, DelBenes’ beloved Seattle Seahawks had just been beaten by the LA Rams in their opening weekend game. I asked the Democrat from Washington state a question that’s been making the rounds on sports talk radio stations in the Pacific Northwest: It’s time for their 72-year-old head coach, Pete Carroll, to departure? She said no.
Since then, the Seahawks have gone 3-1, defeating opponents like the Detroit Lions along the way. So maybe there’s something to DelBene’s approach to patients.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Q: You’ve been pushing Congress to pass a national data privacy standard for some time. But it seems many people don’t care or don’t know how their data is collected. How do you get over that?
A: Actually, I think it’s becoming a bigger and bigger problem for the public. We have health information being used in ways that people don’t expect, because health information isn’t just data in your doctor’s office, it can be on an app on your phone. Your phone is not protected by traditional HIPAA laws.
Other countries have introduced policies, and individual states are passing data privacy laws. But we need basic data privacy nationwide so people know what their rights are. And that’s the foundation for other laws we want to enact to address technology and social media issues.
So building block policy is important, it’s important for people across the country to know that they have control over their data and it will help us have a seat at the international table where the law solutions and standards are being created. But we don’t even have a domestic policy to work out.
Q: You are also a strong supporter of expanding the child tax credit. The 2021 expansion was supposed to lift millions of children out of poverty, but it has now expired. Why isn’t this considered a political issue? Why did people almost not knock down the door to have it made permanent?
A: I’ve heard stories from families across the country and right here in my district who were impacted by those monthly checks, what a huge difference it made for them. pay for housing, food, school supplies, diapers.
It eases the burden on families and lifts nearly half of our children in poverty out of poverty. We know it could have done more if this policy had been in place longer. The data is astonishing.
These families don’t have time to go to Washington, DC, they’re working, they’re trying to make ends meet. Their story is strong and they are strong advocates, but they don’t have lobbyists backing them like you do with big business or wealthy people fighting for policies tax.
There will be a price to pay if you do nothing. Child poverty now costs us more than a trillion dollars a year. So this helps us save money and provide better results for our children. If we know what works, we should do it.
Q: Let’s talk about redistricting. Democrats have received some good news recently, winning legal action in Alabama and feeling hopeful in New York. How has that changed the way you approach your path back to the majority?
A: First and foremost, we will stand up for communities across the country and fight for fair maps. It’s an ongoing legal battle, and it’s really important to see the Supreme Court uphold the Voting Rights Act and make sure that communities aren’t overlooked, as we saw in Alabama with the black community, with its vote so divided that it cannot have a strong voice.
That’s important in states like Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and even Florida. Right now, the majority for Republicans is pretty thin, and if they’re fighting on maps that don’t represent our communities, they’re going to try to maintain that.
We’ve seen change there, but beyond that, we have incredible incumbents and incredible candidates running around the country. People want to see effective governance, and especially in the House of Commons today, [Republicans] are in a state of chaos and dysfunction and are led by the most extreme members of their caucus. And we have responsible leaders who want to govern, and that’s what the American people want to see, and that’s going to make a difference.
Q: Over the summer, Democrats led by the White House spent a lot of time touting Bidenomics and pointing to low unemployment. But polls still show voters tend to rate the president’s poor handling of the economy. Why so?
A: We had an incredible accomplishment in the last Congress and people are just starting to see the impact of those infrastructure investments, which means there will be breakthroughs in the community. copper. Now that money is flowing, projects are starting and people are feeling it. There is a short period of time between when bills pass and when people can see it.
Unfortunately, you see Republicans out there trying to take credit for projects, because they know they’re important to their communities. And we want to call out the hypocrisy of those trying to take credit for the very things they voted against.
But there is much more we need to do. The family is still struggling. I’m working on legislation to help build more affordable housing across the country. Those are the issues people want us to talk about.
That’s not just what happened in the last Congress. We need to continue to build on that and to do that we need to be able to manage. And now we have people who are not interested in governing.
Q: You’re framing it as chaos versus governance and achievement versus dysfunction. But if Democrats can plausibly point to a series of accomplishments and voters don’t seem to care, what does that mean for the way our political system works? Is this a communication problem?
Q: We always need to make sure that people are aware of the impact of the policies we put in place and will continue to highlight that in our community, as we have been doing. Obviously, the media can be challenging and some communities don’t really get a balanced view of what’s going on and that’s disappointing.
But it’s something we’re going to continue to work on and let’s make sure we’re talking locally. The national dialogue is different from the dialogue taking place right here at home. And like I said, we need to talk to people about the problems they’re still having. It’s not like a bill passes and it’s done. The work is ongoing and we will continue to focus on it so that we can move our country forward.
Last book you read? Little Poems for Little Ears by Lin Oliver. Dolly Parton recently visited Washington state to promote literacy [and her Imagination Library], and that’s why I found this book. I read it to my niece.
In politics, can the ends justify the means? They sent us here to rule. And for me, that’s the litmus test. Did we get the job done? There’s a lot to talk about, but what really matters is getting the votes to get everything on the president’s desk.
Your least popular opinion? Canned Thanksgiving cranberry sauce was the clear winner. And we take it out and serve it so that it still has the shape of a can. Moldings are very important.
One thing your friends know about you that your constituents don’t? I like baking. Working in DC is harder for me, but when I’m home and have time, I like to bake bread. I had a sourdough starter in the fridge that I kept using, and then I also made a delicious potato bread.
I heard you’re a big sports fan, especially the Seahawks. Is it time for Pete Carroll to go? We have been through difficult times before and surprised everyone by coming back stronger. So I’m still hoping for a stronger return, and so be there as a good number 12, shouting loudly for our team.
#govern #DCCC #President #Suzan #DelBene
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