New York Congressman Antonio Delgado has just wrapped up a district work period. The 19th District Democrat briefed reporters Monday. And while he spoke about how he spent the work period, he also addressed questions on a wide range of other issues.
One of those issues was how a Democratic House often is derailed by a Republican senate.
“I think that the Senate has, indeed, become the graveyard for a lot of legislation,” says Delgado.
Tweets between Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz made headlines in recent days over their willingness to work together on legislation to ban former congressional representatives from lobbying. Delgado speaks about H.R. 1, a sweeping anti-corruption bill called the For the People Act.
“I introduced the CLEAR Act, which is a part of H.R. 1, which would require that registered lobbyists would be identified on FCC [Federal Communications Commission] reports,” Delgado says. “So I don’t know if Senator Cruz has come out and supported H.R. 1, but I hope he would because, to me, that’s just as much in line with dealing with the corruption, or the corrosive, or the corrupting impact of lobbying and figuring out a way to cool down or alleviate that revolving door that has become very much a part of our political arena.”
Meantime, while on his U.K. tour, President Trump tweeted that the mayor of London has been foolishly “nasty” to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. Trump called Mayor Sadiq Khan a “stone cold loser” who should focus on crime in London, not him.
“I just would like to get to a place, ideally, where how we, as a country, and how our leader communicates to the world at large can exhibit a bit more self-control and discipline and thoughtfulness,” says Delgado. “I find it unhelpful. I find it distracting. I find it sad, at times. We’re just better than this.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also drew reaction after saying that if there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court in 2020 he would fill it
“Mitch McConnell doesn’t have any shame,” Delgado says. “And that’s a fact.”
Delgado, a Democrat, is among those who took umbrage at McConnell’s comments, noting it was McConnell who blocked Judge Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court under President Obama.
“The fact that he can about-face in such a manner, and do so in about as cold and callous and almost enjoyed saying it as well, I have little tolerance for that lack of… the welcoming embrace of hypocrisy and the outward, almost jubilance for being able to revel in it,” says Delgado.
Elsewhere on the political stage, special counsel Robert Mueller recently delivered a public statement on his report into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“I think Mueller’s press conference, while, in many respects, was simply just a restatement of the report because a lot of folks have not read the report and because Barr, I think, successfully muddied the waters with his own summaries and press conference, I think a lot of people, for the first time, were able to glean both the scale and the sweeping nature of the attack and the potentiality that this administration may have been interfering with an investigation into that, which obviously leads to all the more of a necessity for Congress to do what it needs to do in terms of its investigative power, which is what it’s doing and which is what I think is the appropriate step,” Delgado says.
Delgado says questions during his 14 town halls have tended focus on day-to-day constituent issues.
“I think people do care a lot about the rule of law and care a lot about making sure that we get to the truth in this situation,” says Delgado. “At the same time, though, in all my town halls that I’ve done, a lot of questions about local issues, a lot of questions about health care, a lot of questions about infrastructure, a lot of questions about workforce development and climate change.”
Also while working in district in May, Delgado opened his fourth district office, in Liberty in Sullivan County. He plans to open a fifth, in Columbia County, by the end of June.