See below for remarks by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA11), speaking at the Mt. Vernon Town Hall this morning. A few key points by Rep. Connolly included:
- Concern that the U.S. House, under Republican mismanagement, is “fiddling while Rome burns” – for instance, may not keep the government or fund Ukraine in its battle for freedom and “against the authoritarian nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”
- Pointing out that “the last Congress, the 117th Congress, was the most productive Congress since LBJ was in the White House.” That Congress, of course, was under Democratic control.
- A call for the killing to stop in the Middle East, with “a peaceful solution and that solution is a two-state solution.”
Check out the full video and transcript, below!
- “You know, we are at a critical moment in our country and we’re facing some really serious issues in the United States Congress that matter to us. Will we keep the government open? …the expiration of the funding of the government is March 1 and March 8 in two parts. A shutdown of the government affects our region almost more than any other region of the country…It creates uncertainty, it affects small businesses, it affects federal employees, it affects federal contract employees. It is also a signal failure when we don’t fund the government by the Congress.”
- “The last Congress, the 117th Congress, was the most productive Congress since LBJ was in the White House. And by the way, I’m very proud of this, and …Nancy Pelosi says self-promotion is a terrible thing, but someone’s got to do it, and in the most productive Congress in the last half century I was designated the most effective legislator in the Congress. We did some extraordinary things – we passed the biggest infrastructure bill in American history, we passed the biggest environmental bill in American history, we passed the CHIPS and Science Manufacturing Act to bring technology manufacturing back to the United States – the largest industrial policy bill ever passed by any Congress in American history, we passed COVID relief that inter alia had a child tax credit that in one year cut child poverty in America in half – in one year.”
- “Now there’s this Congress, under new management. We spent our time electing a speaker and unelecting a Speaker. We wasted 6 weeks on that endeavor alone – no legislation. We are censuring people and impeaching people for frivolous reasons. In the first session of this Congress which ended in December, we passed only 29 bills, half of them post office namings. That’s fiddling while Rome burns.”
- “Meanwhile people are fighting and dying in Ukraine for their democracy, for their freedom, and we cannot get a Ukraine aid bill to the floor of the House. That’s a shameful moment. America has to stand with people who are willing to fight for their freedom and we have to stand against the authoritarian nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. For the last two years, I have served as the president of NATO’s legislative arm, the Parliamentary assembly. That means I’ve represented all 32 NATO parliaments as their president. And I have spent those two years working very hard to build consensus among our allies to help Ukraine in any and every way we can. And I’m going back back to NATO this Friday and what am I going to tell them? What am I going to tell them about American leadership, about our reliability that you can count on us as the beacon of hope for people who aspire for the freedoms we take for granted? We have to win this political battle here at home so that they can win on the battlefield. They don’t ask us to do the fighting and dying for them, they just ask us to help them in training and equipment – and that is that’s a a noble cause.”
- “We also have an incredible humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Middle East. The killing must stop. There has to be a peaceful solution and that solution is a two-state solution. There has to be a homeland for Israel that’s safe and secure from terrorist attacks like the one that occurred in October 7th. But there also has to be a homeland for the Palestinian people, millions of whom live with violence, with the uncertainty of the future and with death and destruction occurring as we speak. That has to end.”