Alabama’s Sole Congressional Democrat Sees Opportunity in House Victory

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Of all the congressional candidates in Alabama Tuesday, only one was guaranteed to win. Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell faced no opposition as she reclaimed the 7th district seat. But for the first time in her congressional career, Democrats hold the majority in the House of Representatives. Rep. Sewell says Democrats will be able work with Republicans on Capitol Hill. She says Democrats also have to reach to voters in order to win in Alabama.

Interview Highlights

Whether expected investigations of the Trump administration by House Democrats will slow Congress:

“I think that you’ll see Democrats legislating more than investigating … The reality is that the American people wanted divided government because they wanted  a check and balance on this president. I do believe that voters spoke up last night when they put Democrats back in charge of the House, that they do want more legislating than investigating. They want better health care, fairer wages, a more stable future for Social Security and Medicare. And that’s what we’re going to concentrate on.”

Issues Sewell believes Democrats can work with Democrats on:

“I think that infrastructure will be something that will be galvanizing on both sides. We’ve had so much deferred maintenance on our roads and bridges. And for me, when I think about infrastructure I also want to include broadband … One of the things that both Republicans and Democrats were talking about this election cycle was protecting pre-existing conditions. So when I think about being on the House Ways and Means Committee, I think we have to shore up the Affordable Care Act and work with Republicans to make sure that we do protect pre-existing conditions for all Americans.”

Democrats’ poor showing in Alabama:

“Obviously we have a lot of work cut out for us as Democrats here in Alabama, but I do believe we fielded amazing candidates. [Democratic gubernatorial candidate] Walt Maddox was a great candidate. But he faced a deeply divided and partisan climate right here in Alabama. And I believe that we as Democrats have work to do in terms of outreach to voters who don’t feel that they’re represented by today’s partisan politics … I do believe that when we are able to connect with voters, we as Democrats have better policies.”

 

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