Congressman Jim Himes (D-4th) today released the following statement on the first day of the 116th Congress as Democrats regained the majority in the House of Representatives, voted to reopen the government, and passed a new rules package:
“In 2018, Democrats won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives by making the case to the American people that we would work on their behalf and put their interests first. Now, we start that important work.
“Our first order of legislative business was voting to reopen the government. Americans across the country, including hundreds of thousands of federal workers, depend on the vital services provided by federal agencies that have been disrupted by the President’s shutdown. No one, not even the President, should hold government hostage to achieve their political goals. I hope the Senate will join us by passing these measures and the President will sign them.
“The House also passed a rules package that will help restore integrity to government and fight corruption. It bans Members from serving on corporate boards; holds Members indicted for serious crimes more accountable; provides increased training and accountability for Members and staff on ethics and sexual harassment; requires that bills go through the regular order process before being considered on the floor of the House; smooths the path for truly bipartisan legislation; and gives Members more time to consider important legislation.  We received the message loud and clear from our constituents — you sent us here to work, not to fight — and that’s what this package represents.
“In the coming weeks, we’ll be moving into the heart of our agenda, which means starting with bills that will protect the integrity of our elections. From there, I’m optimistic we will move to bills that protect our health care, provide infrastructure funding, institute common-sense gun reform, promote education and preserve our environment. There’s so much to be done, and Democrats are going to show we’re up to the task.”