What is the purpose of government? As longtime Connecticut congresswoman DeLauro answers quite simply, the purpose is to use legislative power to protect, aid, and fight for the country’s most vulnerable and at-risk citizens.
This belief, argues the author, embodies the spirit of the Democratic Party since the Great Society initiatives of President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s, and it opposes that of her Republican colleagues in Congress, who consistently attack the concept of a social safety net as a wasteful use of tax dollars and an infringement upon rights. As a senior leader among congressional Democrats, DeLauro sits on numerous influential groups, including the Steering and Policy Committee and the Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee. In her years in these positions, she has witnessed firsthand Republican attempts to dismantle many of the progressive legislative acts that have defined recent American domestic policy, including the “Gingrich Revolution” during the 1990s. The fights to protect these initiatives, and to draft new ones, are reinforced in DeLauro’s chapters “In Defense of the Hungry,” “In Defense of People Who Get Sick,” etc., in which she outlines her arguments for protecting these groups. The timing couldn’t be better for the author. Though his presidency is still in the early stages, Donald Trump has already proven a worthy foe to the values DeLauro holds dear, and she references the president and his policies throughout. However, the author is not merely a reactionary. For more than three decades, she has maintained a consistent dedication to the principles she espouses in her book. Her primary sparring partner is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, to whom DeLauro devotes an entire chapter, exposing his “assault on the poor” as a baseless attack. Following the contentious 2016 election, the author’s political vision neatly continues the conversation started by Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and it is a valuable asset for anyone interested in the growing resistance to Trump.
An impassioned, urgent defense of democratic values and the role of government to serve and benefit all citizens.