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“Elections Do Have Consequences. Votes Do Matter.”: Rosen Speaks with Reporters on Her Upcoming Agenda in the U.S. Senate

Earlier today, U.S. Senator-elect Jacky Rosen (D) met with Las Vegas local media to talk about her historic victory and what she plans to do when she returns to Capitol Hill. During a fairly freewheeling 20 minute long conversation, Rosen vowed to keep the promises she made on the campaign trail. And when asked how she’d handle the erratic threats emanating from the White House, Rosen urged President Donald Trump to “stop the politics of divisiveness and bring us together.”

“There’s always going to be an empty seat at the table. There will be too many empty seats at the table this Thanksgiving.”
– Senator-elect Jacky Rosen on gun violence
Photo by Andrew Davey

Less than 48 hours ago, a gunman opened fire at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, and killed twelve people. Not only is it the latest in a seemingly never-ending string of mass shootings in America, but it particularly resonates here in Nevada because Borderline was frequented by several survivors of our 1 October Las Vegas Shooting.

When asked whether she sees an opening for Congress to take significant action on gun violence prevention, Rosen made a personal plea to her future Republican colleagues: “I hope our colleagues on the Senate side have some sympathy for these families who have lost loved ones.”

Rosen also spoke of the real human toll that gun violence takes as she urged fellow members of Congress to offer victims more than just “thoughts and prayers”: “I’m so sorry that we have to send thoughts and prayers every week.” She continued, “There’s always going to be an empty seat at the table. There will be too many empty seats at the table this Thanksgiving.”

“We should have compassion. […] I think we should have some empathy.”
– Senator-elect Jacky Rosen on immigration reform

Immigration reform was another hot-button issue that reporters asked Rosen about. As she answered questions, she continued to speak in personal terms about what’s at stake. As Rosen opened up about her own family’s history, she said, “I think we can find ways to unite us through that. I’m the granddaughter of immigrants. I bet we can go around this table and find many more stories [of ancestors who immigrated to the U.S.].”

So what exactly will unite enough members of Congress to result in real legislative change? When asked whether she’s willing to support funding for Trump’s desired border wall, Rosen stated that it’s not the panacea Trump makes it out to be, then she made this request: “I’d like the President to stop the executive orders and work for a bipartisan solution.”

Rosen once again spoke of the real world consequences of Trump’s policies as she instead demanded real comprehensive immigration reform: “People have been using the DREAMers as pawns. They know no other country but ours.” She added, “We have to protect these young people who have come here at no fault of their own.”

In addition, Rosen demanded a humane solution for the refugees Trump has attacked on the campaign trail with his “caravan” rhetoric. According to Rosen, “We should have compassion. We should treat them as asylum seekers. We should look at [realistic] next steps forward.” And if that wasn’t clear enough, Rosen added, “I think we should have some empathy.”

“People are suddenly paying attention. Elections do have consequences. Votes do matter.”
– Senator-elect Jacky Rosen
Photo by Andrew Davey

In addition to gun violence and immigration reform, Rosen answered reporters’ questions on several other topics, including the latest D.C. palace intrigue surrounding the Justice Department and the Mueller Investigation. On Mueller, Rosen demanded the White House stop maneuvering to circumvent the rule of law: “He needs to respect [the investigation] and treat it with dignity. He needs to stop the politics of divisiveness and bring us together.”

And when asked about the message of her election and Nevada’s big “blue wave” this year, Rosen credited Nevada voters for staying woke: “People are suddenly paying attention. Elections do have consequences. Votes do matter.” And in one final rebuke to the Republicans who were counting on low turnout to lessen that “blue wave”, Rosen added, “Overall, I think people are more engaged.”

Earlier in the roundtable discussion, Rosen opened up and shared the advice former Senator Harry Reid (D) gave her when she embarked on her political journey. As Rosen recounted, Reid told her, “Know your why. Understand what’s important to you. […] Be true to your word, just like in your everyday life.”

Nevadans across the state voted for Rosen and other Democratic candidates in the hopes that they will deliver results on humane immigration reform, gun violence prevention, health care, climate action, and much more. With Republicans guaranteed to maintain a narrow Senate majority, Rosen has an uphill battle ahead on Capitol Hill. But with Democrats flipping control of the House, Rosen and her fellow Congressional Democrats now have a real opportunity to show the entire nation what their “why” is and how valuable their words are.

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