Weekly Democratic Address
May 19, 2017
Hello, I’m Congressman David Cicilline from Rhode Island’s First District.
This has been a difficult week for our country. Together, we learned that President Trump exposed highly-classified intelligence to officials from Russia, one of our greatest adversaries. It’s also been reported that before he fired FBI Director James Comey, he asked him to stop an investigation about his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. And we learned that the White House knew that Michael Flynn was under federal investigation at the time he was hired to be the National Security Adviser.
Each day, it seems, President Trump and his Administration become further and further embroiled in scandals of their own making. In just four months, these scandals have shaken the foundations of our democracy and even caused panic in the markets as many begin to question the President’s ability to govern.
On Thursday of this week, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to investigate the growing evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
This is an important step forward. Director Mueller is a respected public servant with an impeccable reputation.
And now it’s important that the Trump Administration make clear that he will have the resources and the independence he needs to conduct this investigation.
Director Mueller’s appointment, however, does not eliminate the need for a truly independent investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
We already know that Vladimir Putin directed his operatives to help Donald Trump win the presidency. The American people deserve to know the full truth about Russia’s interference in our presidential election.
Most importantly, all Americans deserve the peace of mind of knowing that this will never happen again and that those responsible are held accountable.
None of us want our elections to be tainted by foreign interference. And an independent commission, free from the Trump Administration’s influence, is the best way to ensure we achieve this goal. Republicans have been stonewalling an independent commission, but this week, Democrats filed a motion to demand a vote on legislation to create this critical, independent commission.
Donald Trump promised that as President he would drain the swamp in Washington. He promised that he would create 25 million new jobs. And he promised that he would make life better for millions of families across our country who have been left behind.
But after four months, all we have is an Administration in chaos that hasn’t lifted a finger to help hard-working Americans.
This is not what the American people signed up for. Working men and women want a government that is focused on results, not ratings. They want a President who throws them a lifeline, not a headline.
The American people deserve better than what they’re getting from Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans.
And every time Donald Trump creates a new scandal for himself, it takes away from the important work we need to get done for you.
So let me tell you what Democrats are fighting for:
We’re fighting to create good-paying jobs. To reinvigorate manufacturing. To make sure that hard work is rewarded with good wages. And to make sure that families in our country have an opportunity not just to get by, but to get ahead.
We’re fighting to make sure every American has access to high-quality health care at a price they can afford. To lower prescription drug prices and bring down the cost of health insurance.
And we’re fighting to make sure that all Americans can retire with economic security and peace of mind. To preserve the Social Security benefits that seniors have earned and the Medicare benefits they need.
Democrats are not going to allow Donald Trump to take our country backwards. We are going to continue fighting for you and your family, and the values that define us as Americans.
Donald Trump’s presidency is a challenging time for our country. But if the history of our nation teaches us anything, it’s that we will persevere.
Because that’s what we do as Americans. That’s who we are.
When the stakes are highest, we come together as one nation to protect and preserve our democracy and to build a brighter future for every American.