PHILADELPHIA – Two members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation took turns in the national spotlight at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night – one touting Hillary Clinton’s plans for advancing women’s interests and the other urging the election of Democrats to the U.S. House.
During his time on stage, Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said legislative progress will improve in Washington if Democrats recapture the House in November. Many national political prognosticators have said that is unlikely to happen.
“Hillary Clinton is the president who will lead us, but she needs a Congress that will work with her,” Luján said. “For nearly six years, Republicans have held the majority in the people’s House. But clinging to that majority is the only thing they’ve accomplished. For nearly six years, House Republicans have put party over country.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee has long criticized Luján’s ability to attract top-notch candidates in key districts and said he’s now saddled with a presidential candidate with high unfavorable ratings among voters.
“House Democrats will have a hard time saying they’re the party of change considering they are officially stuck with the incredibly unpopular Hillary Clinton at the top of their ticket,” NRCC spokesman Bob Salera said in a statement Wednesday.
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, an Albuquerque Democrat, used her time on stage to explain how Clinton would help women and their elderly parents. Lujan Grisham said she is her own mother’s “primary caregiver.” Lujan Grisham has introduced legislation that would provide tax breaks and other relief to families who have elderly, infirm family members at home.
“Hillary Clinton understands we need to support the millions of families who are caring for their aging or disabled family members,” Lujan Grisham said. “When she says she’ll fight for an America where every woman has the economic security she needs to live the life she wants and deserves, I believe her. Because when Hillary Clinton says she’s going to do something, she gets it done.
“Hillary Clinton stands with us, and we’re with her. And we will be stronger as a nation with Hillary Clinton as the next president.”
The convention hall had a much more upbeat feel Wednesday night than it did on Monday and Tuesday, when delegates for Bernie Sanders loudly protested Clinton’s nomination.
On Wednesday, the discord seemed to have largely disappeared as Democratic delegates of all stripes showered love on Vice President Joe Biden and Gabrielle Giffords, a former congresswoman from Arizona who was nearly killed in her Tucson district by a deranged constituent with a gun.
Later in the evening, the atmosphere in the Wells Fargo Center crackled with energy as excited delegates heard a performance by rocker Lenny Kravitz before a speech by President Barack Obama.