WASHINGTON — A few weeks into the job, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison has taken the role of Deputy Chair of the Democratic Party in stride.
Along with Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the trio held a Q & A on Facebook live Tuesday night, discussing ways “Democrats plan to fight back against [President Donald] Trump and his destructive agenda.”
Ellison, Perez, and Warren took Trump, his administration, and Republicans to task, speaking candidly about decisions made in the first two months of office.
All three Democrats expressed their displeasure in Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. Ellison was particularly upset with congressional Republicans.
“They stole a Supreme Court nomination from President Obama. Now they’re trying to move this process forward with Judge Gorsuch,” Ellison said.
Warren, upset with Gorsuch, touched on his written opinion in the Hobby Lobby case, where he ruled corporations could adopt religious rights.
“Boy, that’s a glimpse into someone’s soul that doesn’t make me happy,” Warren told the crowd.
Both Warren and Ellison criticized Trump’s administration. Ellison agreed with Warren when she alluded to Trump cabinet members potentially lining their pockets as they fought for the rich.
“Over and over, there are people right now running government, who make it clear that they think government should work for the richest, the most powerful and on the side, maybe they’ll line their own pockets while they’re at it,” Warren stated. Ellison responded to the statement, “right, right.”
Speaking exclusively on Trump’s budget, Ellison acknowledged the changes in funding to different agencies. Ellison said the defense department, homeland security – the wall, and vets would receive boosts in their funds, while 14 agencies would receive zero funds. Ellison said what he called “really important things” like Big Bird, legal services, and Meals on Wheels would lose funding.
$54 Billion more for military, slash diplomacy budget (why try to talk out a problem?) and elimination of Meals on Wheels. Let’s Organize.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) March 16, 2017
However, Trump is not eliminating Meals on Wheels. According to Kare 11, Trump’s budget cuts the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBGP) which costs $3 billion annually. Minnesota’s Meals on Wheels program is not expected to face long-term effects from the cut.
The three Democrats joked about how much money could be saved if Trump stopped his trips to Mar-a-Largo.
Ellison commended the start-up of groups like Indivisible and Swing Left stating people, “need to cause good trouble baby.” As reported by Alpha News, Indivisible is a group that has been active in Minnesota. Indivisible seeks to resist the Trump agenda, which Ellison supports, stating, “We need people to fight and organize.”
Perez and Ellison plan to hold Facebook live sessions with different Democrats every week on the Democrat Facebook page.