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Hoyer Op-Ed: Now is Not the Time for Government to Sit on the Sidelines

Capital Gazette

When a gunman entered the Capital Gazette offices on June 28 and murdered five individuals, he did not act alone. He was aided and abetted by a flawed system in this country: one that allows those with a history of perpetrating domestic violence, a history of serious mental illness, and even individuals on the terror watch list to purchase dangerous firearms without question.

The current Republican-led Congress has had ample opportunity to fix our nation’s gun safety laws and prevent shootings like the one that occurred at the Capital Gazette. Tragically, it has failed to act.

That’s why I’m running for Congress. Because 5th District residents deserve a Congress that works for them, not ignores the toughest challenges we face.

This is true not only with regard to gun safety but a host of important issues that the current House majority has refused to address. Maryland families want the federal government to support state and local efforts to make higher education more accessible, to make health care and child care more affordable, and to help law enforcement protect our communities.

Instead, House Republicans are proposing budget cuts that shift more of the burden onto states and counties while doing nothing to help those with crushing student loans or parents trying to balance the obligations of work and family. Moreover, it has spent its time sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, causing health care costs to go up for working families and taking coverage away from those with pre-existing conditions.

My fellow Democrats and I in Maryland and across the country are running this year because we want to make Congress a partner in addressing these challenges. We believe Congress ought to take action to support education, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure as a means to help more of our people make it in America.

Now is not the time for government to sit on the sidelines; now is the time to clean up corruption and make government work again for those it is supposed to serve.

This is a central component of Democrats’ platform for 2018 as we seek to repair the damage done by President Donald Trump’s administration and a Republican House majority too paralyzed by partisan infighting to focus on what really matters.

And what really matters isn’t about what’s good for Republicans or for Democrats but working together to make sure all Americans get ahead.

I’ve been proud to represent Fifth District residents in Congress, to fight on their behalf to make sure government works for those it serves. The past two years under President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress has imbued me with a sense that none of the work we’ve done together in the past will be as critical as the work we do over the next few years. Marylanders deserve a strong voice in determining how we can move forward and address these challenges together as a nation.

My No. 1 priority will continue to be making our 5th District communities safer and ensuring that our people have access to the opportunities that put the American Dream in reach.