Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy 2019 - Let The Investigations Begin

If you thought Donald Trump and his supporters yelled "Witch Hunt!" a lot in 2018, you ain't heard nothin' yet.

The Democratic Party now controls the House of Representatives. Those who scoff that "the Democratic House can't do anything without the Republican Senate" obviously don't really know how our government functions.

Among other things, the House of Representatives has rather sweeping oversight and investigative authority when it comes to policing the government. It's a safe bet that 2019 will see numerous House investigations scrutinizing both the Trump administration and Donald Trump's companies.

Armed with committee gavels, they will have the power and resources to issue subpoenas and compel testimony. And there's plenty of juicy items for House Democrats to look at when it comes to Trump's White House -- accounts of inept governance, malicious policy and outright corruption chief among them.

Then there are the ever-increasing number of allegations concerning how shadily the Trump Organization conducts business, with credible accounts of tax evasion, money laundering and generous loans from Russian figures tied directly to the Kremlin and the Russian mob.

There is also growing evidence that Trump has let his business relationships affect his decision-making, while he personally profits from possible violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Republicans will undoubtedly moan and wring their hands, all the while crying about how the mean House Democrats are picking on poor Donald Trump. They will no doubt forget how House Republicans launched what seemed to be an investigation a day into the Obama administration when they had the majority.

However, the Democratic House needs to make sure that investigations are not their only focus as they assume control.  First and foremost, they need to work with the Republican Senate to end the government shutdown.

Immigration policy, infrastructure, the Affordable Care Act and a host of other issues are things the American people want to see addressed after two years of Republican apathy and inaction.

House Democrats will also need to figure out how to get along with each other. New, younger members from blue collar urban areas would like to take things hard left, but will end up butting heads with more centrist new members who won Republican votes in well-heeled and educated suburbs.

One thing is clear, however. Nearly all Democrats in the House of Representatives are in agreement that the executive branch led by Trump is in dire need of forceful oversight, something that has been missing thanks to the cowardice of the outgoing Republican majority.

Let the investigations begin.

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