(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Despite Republicans being firmly in control of the U.S. House, Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) proved once again that there is no excuse for not passing important, progressive legislation.
The full House passed five of his amendments in two appropriations bills Thursday. Working the floor well past midnight the two previous days, Grayson won passage of measures that help journalists, veterans, seniors, Hispanics and others facing language barriers, plus crackdowns on shady contractors seeking federal taxpayer money.
“If people tell you that no one can get anything done in Washington, DC, what they really mean is that they can’t get anything done in Washington, DC,” Grayson said. “We can, and we do."
The amendments Grayson successfully passed through the House:
1) A shield law that protects reporters from being imprisoned by the federal government for not revealing their sources.
2) Restoring 42% of the budget cuts inflicted on the Housing for the Elderly Program.
3) Increasing funding for bilingual housing counseling by 50%.
4) A prohibition on bonus payments to contractors who are behind schedule or over-budget.
5) A contractor death penalty that bars new contracts to government contractors who commit crimes or fraud.
Grayson has been widely recognized for his prowess in passing legislation. In 2013, Slate said he was “the most effective member” of the House. The Miami New Times recently wrote that he’s a “shrewd legislator," and "noted for working with libertarian-leaning Republicans to get actual bipartisan results," the Miami New Times wrote.
“Most people, and the certainly those in the pundit class, believe that a gridlocked Congress can accomplish little, or nothing,” Grayson said. “But in single day, a junior member of the minority party won approval of five amendments that will benefit people who truly need help, not just in Florida, but across America. We get good things done.”
“This how Democrats win,” Grayson said.