Decision 2020: One-on-one with Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - U.S. Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger and Virginia Delegate Nick Freitas are in a tight race to win over voters in the seventh district.
Spanberger narrowly won the seat two years ago, and a lot has happened since then. Nowadays, she’s spending most of her time in Henrico, instead of Washington D.C.
“My day-to-day is like so many other families across Central Virginia. I’m doing a mix of working from home. A lot of zoom calls and conference calls.”
Spanberger’s three daughters are doing online learning, and when the kids get a lunch break, it’s time for some fresh air.
“Where we have not had the success we need to have is with the next relief package,” Spanberger said.
Spanberger is part of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of representatives from both sides of the aisle looking to end the gridlock in Washington.
The group has a promising version of a COVID relief bill in early October. While it had traction, President Donald Trump seemingly put an end to talks via Twitter.
Nevertheless, Spanberger says she takes a bipartisan approach to just about everything, working with Republicans to address security challenges at the border, focusing on drug and human trafficking.
She passed legislation with the president’s now chief of staff saying, “Mark Meadow and I don’t agree on a whole heck of a lot, but we agree on the exploitation of children.”
Spanberger says she is also fighting to move the needle on lowering prescription drug prices, saying “My transparency bill passed the house 403 to zero, literally nobody voted against my bill.”
That bill has been sitting in the Senate for months.
Spanberger ran on healthcare and protecting the ACA in 2018, and that continues to be a major focal point of her campaign once again, especially with COVID.
“We are seeing individuals who have recovered continue to have health problems related to their COVID 19 diagnosis,” she said.
When it comes to President Donald Trump and his actions during his first term, Spanberger says she’s seen a trend of worrisome behavior. In dealing with other countries internationally, and domestically with COVID 19.
“A lack of focused planning, based on the advice and consultation of experts. States are still bidding against each other for the same supplies. There’s no plan for how we allocate resources,” she said.
Arguably, Spanberger’s biggest decisions in Congress thus far is impeaching the President.
“It is not a decision that I came to lightly. There were those calling for impeachment at very early stages, and I did not join that call,” she said.
The congresswoman first supported an inquiry and later attended hearings, read the depositions, and listened to testimony.
“I was looking for and hoping for information that would exonerate the president from these allegations, and in the end, the information was not there, so I voted to impeach the president.”
Trump won the 7th Congressional District in 2016, convincingly. Spanberger flipped it in 2018, winning by roughly 7,000 votes. Impeaching the president could be one of her biggest hurdles to draw Republican voters to her camp.
“It is my hope that voters will recognize the deliberate nature of my actions. Even if they disagree with my ultimate decision, they will respect the fact that it was not one that I came to lightly.”
But all is not lost, Spanberger also highlights areas where the president has done some good.
“I give the president credit for the USMCA, the deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. This is a deal that is incredibly important to the people I represent, small business owners, farmers and producers across Virginia, and I worked aggressively with fellow Democrats and Republicans to get this across the line."
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