The party of FDR and the New Deal is returning to its progressive and populist roots, shying away from identity politics and social issues, while uniting behind and moving ahead with an economic program and message (“A Better Deal”), with a strong initial emphasis on jobs, drug costs, and the power of corporations.
“In the last two elections, Democrats, including in the Senate, failed to articulate a strong, bold economic program for the middle class and those working hard to get there,” wrote Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in an op-ed in the New York Times.
“We also failed to communicate our values to show that we were on the side of working people, not the special interests. We will not repeat the same mistake. This is the start of a new vision for the party.”
“For the first time in a decade, the GOP had the White House, Congress and complete control of the legislative process to advance its agenda. But instead of creating good-paying jobs, or rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, or advancing tax reform, Republicans have spent six months trying to raise Americans’ health costs to fund tax breaks for billionaires,” wrote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-C.A.) in an op-ed in the Washington Post.
“Democrats have a better approach.”
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) July 24, 2017
“Democrats are pledging ourselves to the goal of creating good-paying, full-time jobs for 10 million more Americans in the next five years…We are calling for a new tax credit for employers to train and hire workers at a good wage, and a massive new national commitment to expanding apprenticeships and paid on-the-job training that advances their skills and careers,” she wrote.
“Democrats pledge ourselves to breaking the grip of the special interests and confronting the rising everyday costs that families have endured for too long…We will demand that proposed mergers meet tough news standards to protect competition before approval, and will institute post-merger reviews to ensure that consolidated companies keep their promises to American consumers.”
“Third Democrats will take unprecedented aggressive action to lower the cost of prescription drugs — the single largest factor driving increasing health costs in the United States today…We will leverage the power of Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, force drug manufacturers to open their books and justify cost increases, and create a strong, independent enforcement agency empowered to end outrageous and unjustified prescription drug price-gouging,” she added.
“The feeling is that this is what we should be talking about,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), who represents a district where voters elected Trump but also gave the Democrat another term in Congress.
“They feel like folks in Washington see this whole thing as a game — winners and losers — at the expense of people back home,” she said in an interview. “People have the feeling that things are stacked against them.”
She added: “It’s our message to build an America where working people know we have their back.”