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House Democrats gear up to fight Trump agenda

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House Democrats are meeting in Baltimore for their annual retreat. Veuer’s Nick Cardona has the story.
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BALTIMORE — Don’t count out House Democrats when it comes to fighting President Trump’s agenda in Congress. That’s the message from Democrats gathered at a retreat in Baltimore this week.

About 140 lawmakers are here through Friday for closed-door meetings on how to recover from November’s election losses and resist Republican policies.

“I’ve never seen my party more unified in a single goal, fighting to prevent President Trump and congressional Republicans from hurting our country and hurting our people and quite frankly, hurting the world,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley of New York said during a Wednesday news conference.

The minority party doesn’t have the power to slow down legislation in the House as it does in the Senate. But House Democrats say they, too, have tools to fight a Republican Congress and an administration they say is dangerous.

“The American people are getting the message,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. “We have to make sure they know, though, on a day-to-day basis how this affects them in their daily lives.”

Democrats hope to use procedural votes to put Republicans on record as supporting or opposing Trump’s agenda. The minority party can do that under House rules to push an alternative agenda and policy.

“We want our Republican colleagues to understand that what the White House does they either have to answer for or they have to condemn,” Crowley said. “They can’t have it both ways.”

On Tuesday, Crowley used this tactic to show Republicans wouldn’t condemn Trump’s Holocaust remembrance statement that didn’t mention the killing of 6 million Jews.

In the Jan. 27 statement, Trump remembered “the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust,” but he was criticized for omitting any mention of Jewish deaths in contrast to his predecessors. Trump has also been accused of failing to address anti-Semitism among his supporters.

Before the House vote, Crowley urged Republicans to stand against Trump’s omission.

“Don’t be enablers,” he said on the House floor. “This is your opportunity. There may not be another to repudiate what the White House has done.”

The measure failed in a party-line vote, but at least Democrats then had Republicans votes on the record.

Crowley said Wednesday that Democrats will continue to demand procedural votes to hold Republicans accountable.

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