Weekly Democratic Address
July 28, 2017
Hello, I’m Betty McCollum. And in Congress, I represent the hardworking families of St. Paul, Minnesota and its surrounding communities.
Minnesota has beautiful summers and really cold winters. But no matter what the weather, we get up every day, head to our jobs with the expectation of getting our work done. And that’s the exact opposite of what’s happening right now in Republican-controlled Washington.
This week, I found myself agreeing with Senator John McCain when he delivered a blunt statement to his own party: “We are getting nothing done.”
The American people expect Congress and the White House to do the people’s business. And instead, we have a do-nothing Congress and a President who offers inappropriate insults, rather than inspired ideas.
No matter where you live – a big city, the suburbs, a rural community, or a tribal nation – you know that our families, students, seniors, and small business owners are facing real challenges.
For too many people, wages are not growing fast enough to keep up with the cost of living. Many businesses can’t find workers with the required skills. Too often, workers can’t afford the education and training they need to secure better-paying jobs. Drug companies are gouging us with skyrocketing prescription drug prices. And across the country, our economy is being held back by outdated infrastructure and a widening digital divide.
President Trump and Republicans have no solutions to address these problems. In fact, the chaos Republicans are causing is denying families, businesses, and communities the certainty they need to invest in the future.
The American people deserve a better deal.
Like many of you, I come from a working-class family. Growing up in South St. Paul, my family struggled. And as a young mom, I raised my kids, worked at Sears, and went back to college – all at the same time. And when my kids got sick, we took the bus to go see the doctor.
I know my story isn’t unusual. Americans work hard every day to support our families. All the while, we keep our eyes focused on a better future. But there are times when life is not easy and we can all use a little help.
And that’s why House and Senate Democrats came together this week to announce A Better Deal for America’s families.
Democrats in Congress are taking on the real challenges facing America, finding solutions that are responsible, compassionate, and effective. The bickering, name calling, and game playing in Washington – it needs to end. It’s time to get to work!
Democrats believe every American can contribute to the success of our nation. And that starts by ensuring everyone has the skills they need to get a good-paying job and climb the career ladder.
Democrats are determined to lower the cost of college, create more skilled apprenticeships, and make it easier for businesses to train workers.
Democrats are ready to invest in modern infrastructure, the roads, bridges, and transit system of tomorrow. And we want to expand high-speed internet to every corner of America. These investments will move our economy forward and support millions of jobs.
Democrats will put your families first by cracking down on unfair foreign trade, corporations that ship jobs overseas, and drug companies that gouge patients.
In the heartland, we expect our leaders to respond to the challenges we face rather than catering to billionaires and Wall Street.
We expect the federal government to be a partner that works with farmers and Main Street businesses, helps families afford career training and college, and makes sure veterans receive the benefits they have earned.
We know that protecting the air we breathe and the water we drink is good for all of us. And we know that every American family needs affordable, quality healthcare.
Yet Republicans keep putting the 1 percent first. They are still pushing failed trickle-down policies and rolling back on the protections that Americans count on.
This week, Members of Congress begin going home for the August recess. This is a chance for citizens to hold their Senators and Representatives accountable by asking the tough questions: What are you doing to help working families get ahead? What are you doing to protect my family’s healthcare?
You deserve answers. And you deserve a better deal than the one you are getting now.
And that’s exactly what Democrats are working for: better jobs, better wages, and a better future for every American.
Thank you for listening.