Liberal Freshmen Are Shaking the Capitol Just Days Into the New Congress

“Congresswoman Tlaib was elected to shake up Washington, not continue the status quo,” her office said in a statement standing by her remarks even as President Trump was denouncing them, and her, on national television.

 

Between dance numbers and knowing Instagram posts, she tried — and failed — to beat back an obscure austerity measure for the incoming Congress, and she floated plans to tax the extremely wealthy by as much as 70 percent. In the meantime, her freshman classmate Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan was unapologetically upsetting Democratic talking points with an exuberant, expletive-filled pledge to impeach the president.

Between dance numbers and knowing Instagram posts, she tried — and failed — to beat back an obscure austerity measure for the incoming Congress, and she floated plans to tax the extremely wealthy by as much as 70 percent. In the meantime, her freshman classmate Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan was unapologetically upsetting Democratic talking points with an exuberant, expletive-filled pledge to impeach the president.

“Congresswoman Tlaib was elected to shake up Washington, not continue the status quo,” her office said in a statement standing by her remarks even as President Trump was denouncing them, and her, on national television.

In case it wasn’t already clear, the insurgent freshmen who promised bold and uncompromising action, uninterested in and unbowed by the strictures of the status quo, are showing no signs of wavering. They appear determined to push their party to the left, even as more experienced lawmakers fear that their antics and programs could divide the party and empower Republicans.

“I think some lessons will be learned pretty quickly around here,” Representative Dina Titus, Democrat of Nevada and a former professor of political science, said after Ms. Tlaib’s profane outburst. “You don’t want to hand the gun for the other side to shoot you with.”

The 2019 freshmen are hardly the first incoming class to come in swinging. The “Watergate babies” of 1975 came in with a mandate to clean up government. Newt Gingrich’s Republican Revolutionaries of 1995 and the Tea Party class of 2011 believed they had a mandate for conservative change; what they lacked in realism, they made up for in moxie.

 

They have pressed for an ambitious and costly climate change proposal that would eliminate the use of fossil fuels in 12 years and provide a job to anyone who wants one. After conservatives tried to embarrass Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York with old footage of her dancing, she faced them down by videotaping new footage of her dancing — outside her new congressional office.

 

WASHINGTON — It took less than 48 hours into the new Congress for some of the most liberal freshmen of the now Democratic-controlled House to upend Capitol Hill — and they see no reason to slow down.

 

I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous.Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too! &;&;Have a great weekend everyone 🙂 pic.twitter.com/9y6ALOw4F6— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 4, 2019

 

 

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