Opinion: Now is the time for action

For too long, Republican leadership in the Senate and the White House have held up legislation that will benefit Americans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked bills that would address the COVID-19 crisis, voting rights, election security, LGBTQ discrimination, Dreamers, pay discrimination, wage increases and many other issues; over 400 bills passed by the House are sitting on his desk. In fact, his obstruction has the 116th Congress on track to be the least productive in history, with only 158 bills out of nearly 15,000 being enacted into law, or about 1%. This pathetic clogging up of the legislative process has hurt Americans, and it is time for change.

At this time, a Biden victory is the most likely outcome in the presidential race. Democrats have held the House and have the potential for more gains in the Senate, narrowing the gap between the parties. Regardless of how many seats they hold, Democrats must push for a wide array of legislation that will benefit the American people come January of 2021. Republican inaction has led to 230,000 deaths to COVID, as well as the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of citizens and weakened election infrastructure. Joe Biden has received the most votes ever for a U.S. presidential candidate; people are ready for change, and the most effective change is coming from the progressives in Congress.

The Untied States Capitol on October 31 | Ingrid Harbo

Starting with the convening of the new Congress on Jan. 5, Democrats must push progressive legislation that addresses those issues that the current Republican Senate has ignored. In states across the country, progressive ballot measures passed this past Tuesday, including a number on abortion restrictions and marijuana legalization in a number of states. Increasingly, progressive initiatives like the legalization of marijuana, increasing the federal minimum wage, and single-payer healthcare have approval ratings near 60-70% among the public. Biden’s platform is the most progressive since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who guided the U.S. out of the Great Depression. Societal advancement is driven by progressive action; Social Security, the Voting Rights Act, women’s right to vote, labor protections, environmental protections, and more were passed by progressives and opposed by conservatives. 

Today, we are facing many of the same problems that we have for years without having addressed them, in addition to new ones that pose threats that we are not prepared for. This is why now is the time for action. Let’s make it happen.


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