Second Sitting Democrat Congressman Calls for Biden to Withdraw

Second Sitting Democrat Congressman Calls for Biden to Withdraw

Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona has become the second House Democrat to call on President Biden to leave the presidential race.

The Congressman has penned an OPINION Piece, which appears IN FULL, Below:

Jared Golden represents Maine’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

After the first presidential debate, lots of Democrats are panicking about whether President Joe Biden should step down as the party’s nominee. Biden’s poor performance in the debate was not a surprise. It also didn’t rattle me as it has others, because the outcome of this election has been clear to me for months: While I don’t plan to vote for him, Donald Trump is going to win. And I’m OK with that.

There are winners and losers in every election. Democrats’ post-debate hand-wringing is based on the idea that a Trump victory is not just a political loss, but a unique threat to our democracy. I reject the premise. Unlike Biden and many others, I refuse to participate in a campaign to scare voters with the idea that Trump will end our democratic system.

This Independence Day marks our nation’s 248th birthday. In that time, American democracy has withstood civil war, world wars, acts of terrorism and technological and societal changes that would make the Founders’ head spin.

Pearl-clutching about a Trump victory ignores the strength of our democracy. Jan. 6, 2021, was a dark day. But Americans stood strong. Hundreds of police officers protected the democratic process against thousands who tried to use violence to upend it. Judges and state election officials upheld our election laws. Members of Congress, including leaders from both parties, certified the election results.

They all are joined in the defense of democracy by the millions of us who, like me, made an oath of allegiance to the United States and to the Constitution when we began our military service, plus hundreds of millions of freedom-loving Americans who won’t let anyone take away our constitutional rights as citizens of the greatest democracy in history.

This election is about the economy, not democracy. And when it comes to our economy, our Congress matters far more than who occupies the White House.

Some of Congress’ best work in recent years has happened in spite of the president, not because of him. A handful of responsible Democrats, including myself and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, rejected Biden’s bloated “Build Back Better” bill and instead passed a law that supercharged American energy production, saved Medicare billions of dollars and reduced the deficit. Years earlier, Congress stood up to the GOP establishment who tried to hijack Trump’s agenda to achieve their long-held goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Defeating them saved health coverage for tens of millions of Americans and protections for people with preexisting conditions.

It was Congress that wrote and passed the CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to bring back manufacturing so we can once again be a nation of producers, not just consumers. We wrote laws to unleash American energy by tapping domestic natural resources — oil and gas, biomass, the sun and wind — as well as nuclear power to ensure a steady supply of affordable, reliable energy. And we passed an infrastructure law that’s already building and improving roads, bridges and ports.

In 2025, I believe Trump is going to be in the White House. Maine’s representatives will need to work with him when it benefits Mainers, hold him accountable when it does not and work independently across the aisle no matter what.

Congress will need to stand up to economic elites and so-called experts in both parties who are already working overtime to stop Trump’s proposed trade policies that would reverse the harms of globalization and protect American businesses from unfair foreign competition. We need to protect from extremists the law I helped pass that caps seniors’ insulin costs at $35 and forces Big Pharma to negotiate and lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Perhaps more importantly, members must stand up to the GOP old-guard who will use a Trump presidency as cover for handouts to the wealthy and powerful at the cost of America’s working families and communities.

We must stabilize Medicare and Social Security, without cuts for seniors. We must guarantee women’s reproductive rights. And Congress must be ready to once again protect the ACA and to end huge tax breaks for the wealthy and for multinational corporations.

I urge everyone — voters, elected officials, the media, and all citizens — to ignore the chattering class’s scare tactics and political pipedreams. We don’t need party insiders in smoke-filled back rooms to save us. We can defend our democracy without them.

My focus is on representing the people of Maine’s Second Congressional District and working for the common good of all Americans. This Independence Day, we should reflect on the history and strength of our great democracy, safe in the knowledge that no one man is strong enough to take it away from us.


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