With the new term in full swing and the government back open — at least until the Feb. 15 negotiation deadline — House Democrats are turning their attention to other items on their agenda. And according to the new vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, that includes an intense focus on the words and actions of President Donald Trump.
“I worry that a lot of what we hear, and we assume is purposeful misleading of the American people, maybe really is Donald Trump’s reality … an alternative reality where he rejects any questioning of that as fake news or people out trying to get him, which I think is a very dangerous position,” Clark told Jim Braude when she joined him Thursday on Greater Boston.
Clark noted that a lot of people talk about impeachment, but that Democrats have other tools they can and will use, including the power to investigate.
“We have a constitutional obligation to exercise oversight, and that is exactly what the Democrats are going to do,” Clark said, noting that the Congressional Oversight Committee has already sent 51 letters with questions about actions taken by the president and his administration, about which they want more information.
Clark also addressed the ongoing bipartisan talks aimed at avoiding another government shutdown, saying the committee needs time to figure out a plan. But when asked repeatedly whether Democrats would compromise on giving any money to the president to fund a border wall, Clark argued it’s all about the data.
“It’s very hard to negotiate with the president over his constant changing of what a wall is,” she said. “What we’re saying is, 'Let’s be effective about border security. Let’s go where the data is showing us.' I don’t think that’s going to be a wall. …. We are willing to reinforce existing barriers. But our focus is doing that with technology, strengthening our ports, getting personnel, immigration judges — those are the things that are on the table.”