The reasonable home democratic chief says the GOP have to be defeated in 2022 to avoid wasting democracy
WASHINGTON – Senior House Democrat says Republicans must be expelled from power after the siege of the Capitol to protect national security and democracy. This is a sharp new tone from the leader of a coalition known for its bipartisan work.
Florida Rep Stephanie Murphy is co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, which has sought common ground rather than conflict with Republicans on issues such as government funding, health care and immigration. As a further sign that the channels of cooperation are being tested, Murphy offered a stabbing charge against her Republican colleagues in a comprehensive interview.
Murphy questioned the GOP’s commitment to democracy, saying the party was increasingly being defined by “conspiracy theories” rather than conservative politics. She cited votes from a majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives to block the counting of votes in key states for President Joe Biden on the night of the January 6th Capitol uprising, including most of those who defeated Blue Dog members.
“It highlighted to me that our political commitment is now a national security commitment,” Murphy told NBC News. “Imagine what would have happened if the Democrats hadn’t held the house and hadn’t been in a majority on January 6 – where would we be today?”
She accused Republicans of “doubling the lie that led to the violence that claimed the lives of law enforcement officers and other people”.
The aggressive recoil shows just how much the attack by supporters of former President Donald Trump on the Capitol and its impact has strained relations between the two parties as newly-enlisted Democrats advance a progressive agenda and Republicans seek a way back to power .
Murphy, 42, the first Vietnamese-American woman to serve in Congress, cited her family experience of fleeing a communist-run country at the age of 6 months and her national security background at the Pentagon to argue that democratic institutions are fragile.
“The Democratic majority is not just about actions we propose to help the American people. It’s also about preserving our democracy, ”she said. “You keep making room for the conspiracy theorists. I don’t know how to establish sensible guidelines and laws that can help the American people when you live in your own country. “
Murphy, who represents a divided district near Orlando, wouldn’t rule out a Senate election in 2022 if Republican Senator Marco Rubio faces re-election, though she said her current focus is elsewhere.
“My focus right now is getting my job done and serving my community,” said Murphy. “Of course there will be a time when I hope you can share my experience of winning in a district that is a broader reflection of the state. But this is not the moment. Right now, I’m really focused on getting the next Covid bill across the finish line. “
Moderate deficit spending on “Intend To Police”
Despite her searing criticism of Republicans, Murphy’s moderate political instincts remain intact.
She did not say how she would vote on the progressive immigration law that her party revealed last week, stating that she was still considering it. She was skeptical about the wisdom of raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour in the Covid-19 bill, fearing it could be controversial and slow things down. And she said that after the end of the rescue package, Democrats need to return to deficit awareness.
She said the 18-member moderate house caucus will not be ready to add to the nation’s deficit after the Covid-19 relief bill is passed, a move that is sure to irritate progressive Democrats. She said the house rules allow deficit exemptions to address emergencies and climate change.
“These are tight exceptions,” Murphy said. “And the Blue Dogs have told leadership that we want to monitor these exemptions to make sure they are not abused.”
The Blue Dog Coalition has numerous members that Republicans believe will have the best chance of defeating in the 2022 election. Their survival could be crucial in the struggle for control of the house as the Democrats have a slim majority and face historic headwinds if they stay in power two years from now.
Murphy said the way to avoid another 2010-style defeat, when the Democrats lost 63 seats in President Barack Obama’s first midterm election, is to “score on the board” wherever possible.
“That means focusing on laws that can pass the Senate and become laws,” she said, warning progressives subtly, “Sometimes our passionate exuberance overwhelms our pragmatic approaches. We have to show the American people that we rule and their lives and sometimes that means making incremental changes. “