Not only is Democrat Conor Lamb’s victory in Pennsylvania’s special Congressional election a rebuke to President Trump, it is an affirmation that voters want Social Security and Medicare to be vigorously protected. Last month, the National Committee endorsed Lamb, a U.S. Marine and former federal prosecutor who champions Americans’ retirement and health security.
“Our nation needs his leadership, vision and determination to fight for working families and older Americans. Conor Lamb understands and supports the critical roles that Social Security and Medicare play in the lives of our nation’s older citizens and their families. We look forward to working with Conor Lamb to protect – if not expand – Americans’ earned benefits.”” – National Committee president and CEO Max Richtman.
On Wednesday, President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan twisted themselves into knots trying to spin Lamb’s victory as a win for conservatism. Though Lamb took a few conservative positions (as well he might in a historically Republican district), his support for programs benefitting working families was rock solid.
*He promised to boost Social Security benefits and expand Medicare to cover hearing, vision, and dental care – and to protect both programs from GOP attempts to cut and privatize them.
*He opposed the Trump/GOP tax scam, calling it a “giveaway” to the wealthy, advocating instead for a tax cut truly aimed at “working and middle class people” without adding to the debt.
*He railed against GOP attempts to repeal and undermine Obamacare, promising to work to “help people with pre-existing conditions, improve the quality of care, and reduce premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and prescription drug prices.”
On issue after issue, Lamb is unabashedly on the side of working Americans. This election was a test of voters commitment to these issues – and the results were clear. The fact that Lamb earned more votes – albeit by a razor-thin margin – in a deep red district where the Democrats didn’t even field a candidate in the previous two elections proves that voters want to protect working people’s interests.
Health care, in particular, was voters’ top-ranking concern in Pennsylvania’s special election, according to an exit poll released yesterday. As The Hill newspaper reports, “For 52 percent of voters, health care [was the] top issue when deciding who to vote for, while 19 percent said it wasn’t at all important to them.”
The poll also found that 53 percent disapprove of Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, while 39 percent approve. This is leading some Democrats to think health care could be a winning issue for them in the 2018 midterms, when they hope to retake seats in Congress. – The Hill newspaper, 3/15/18
For more than a year, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have engaged in a war against the programs that working Americans rely on for basic income and health security – while passing trillions of dollars in tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations. Working people’s well-being hinges on electing more defenders of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare to Congress this Fall. With the 2018 Congressional elections drawing closer, Conor Lamb’s victory is a positive harbinger for those who fight for the working class, and a warning to those who don’t.
Watch our live analysis of Conor Lamb’s win on “Behind the Headlines” via Facebook Live.