Katie Hill, December 08, 2018. Dan Watson/The Signal

Rep. Katie Hill | Putting Partisanship Aside, Honoring Our Duty

By Katie Hill

Congresswoman 

Growing up here, it didn’t matter if you were a Republican or a Democrat. Actually, most people I grew up with considered themselves independents because they thought neither party represented them. My mom is a Democrat, my dad is a Republican, and at my family dinner table we have always been able to talk to each other from a place of mutual respect. 

The national media and career politicians don’t know what it’s like to grow up here — to graduate from Saugus High School or to work through College of the Canyons and CSUN as a server at Islands on McBean. When I hear people spin big national news, it’s clear that they don’t know what communities like ours go through. That’s why I ran for Congress. While we may not be able to agree on everything, we can agree that service to our community is what’s most important.  

And a functioning, transparent democracy is vital to serving our community.

Two weeks ago, the House opened an impeachment inquiry into the President. I’ll be honest — deciding whether to impeach the president is not a responsibility I wanted, and it certainly was not my priority when I ran. But, it is a responsibility I accepted when I swore an oath to uphold, protect, and defend our national security and Constitution. Supporting an official inquiry is the toughest decision I’ve had to make since taking office and is one I made only when it became very clear that our security and our democracy were jeopardized.

Through his own admission, a whistleblower complaint, and a corroborating memo released by the White House, we’ve learned that the president abused his power for personal gain. He did this by asking the Ukrainian president to launch an investigation into his political opponent while withholding taxpayer-funded and congressionally allocated military aid — aid intended to protect Ukraine from one of our most dangerous adversaries, Russia.

The independent inspector general within the president’s administration deemed this “an urgent concern,” and I agree. 

If they are introduced, my vote on articles of impeachment will not be a vote I come to lightly. I know how divisive an issue this has been, and will continue to be. But we cannot let partisan politics interfere with the responsibilities assigned to Congress in the Constitution, and I hope my colleagues, regardless of party, will uphold their oath. 

In this challenging time, the last thing we need is more partisan rhetoric. That’s why I am frustrated that the national media wants to only talk about impeachment and that the president insists Democrats are solely focused on persecuting him instead of solving the nation’s problems. It’s not helpful and it’s not accurate. I work with my Republican colleagues every single day. Together, Democrats and Republicans in the House have passed hundreds of bills with overwhelming support by the American people that are simply sitting in the Senate, waiting for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow for a vote. 

I’ve personally introduced two bills in the last two weeks — one with my Republican colleague Anthony Gonzalez to protect public trust by fighting deepfake-altered videos, and one to support low-income college students.

Last week, we also introduced the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which is the most comprehensive legislation ever to tackle the cost of prescription drugs. I’m proud to have played a role in developing key aspects of this bill because of people like Donna, a constituent who has been forced to choose between the cost of her cancer medication and treatment for her grandkids’ autism. That’s the reality for too many people — we need real solutions and I’m hopeful that this is legislation we can pass.

And all the while, the service of our community continues. To date, my office has returned nearly $800,000 in benefits to people in our community and my team has taken on more than 300 cases to help fight bureaucracy and make government work for us. 

But in order to uphold my commitment to you, I have to also uphold my commitment to the Constitution and to rooting out government corruption. 

This is a divisive time, but our community is so much stronger than all of that division. We can set an example for the country as a community of individuals who don’t need to be told what to do or how to feel, who have policy differences and often disagree, but who always put their shared values first. 

That’s what growing up here meant to me, and that’s what I believe it will continue to mean for generations to come.

Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, represents the 25th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.  

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