WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Though there was drama over the election for a new Speaker of the House, lawmakers spent the day discussing their priorities.
Democratic lawmakers from the West, such as California’s Judy Chu, Mike Levin, Lou Correa, Colorado’s Jason Crow and Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer, said they’re ready to get to work in the new Congress.
Chu said she’ll work to make “sure that we get inflation down, that we make sure that Americans can ensure to put food on the table and also pay for their rent.”
She also intends to keep fighting for her priorities, including “the right for women’s reproductive health and the right to an abortion.”
Blumenauer said there needs to be a focus on the housing crisis.
“Most successful cities have a mismatch between housing needs and opportunities and the federal government needs to be a more active player,” he said.
Now that control of the House and Senate is divided between parties, passing legislation will become more difficult. But Democratic lawmakers say they want to work with Republicans.
“I’m going to keep my focus on small business development, on national defense and national security issues and immigration reform,” Crow said.
Levin said, “We can have security and humanity at the border. We need it.”
Democrats said they’re hopeful immigration will be one area where both parties can work together.
“Right now we have shortages of products from chips to manufacturing items, we need the workers,” Correa said. “Thirty-five years have passed since the last immigration reform.”
Republicans spent the day fighting among themselves as California’s Kevin McCarthy struggled to get the votes to become Speaker.
“We may have a battle on the floor,” McCarthy said, “but the battle is for the conference and the country.”