Feminist Lawmakers in the House are Leading the Fight to Save Our Democracy

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has launched an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump—forming a feminist front line in the fight to protect the United States’ democracy.

The 2017 Women’s March on Washington. (Molly Adams)

“We have devoted our lives to the service and security of our country, and throughout our careers, we have sworn oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States many times over,” seven recently-elected Congressional lawmakers—Gil Cisneros of California, Jason Crow of Colorado, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia—declared in a Washington Post op-ed published last night. “Now, we join as a unified group to uphold that oath as we enter uncharted waters and face unprecedented allegations against President Trump.”

Five of the authors of the piece are women—many of whom represent districts that Trump won in 2016, but refuse to put political pragmatism before their duty to uphold and protect our democracy. They’re part of a growing cohort of Congressional lawmakers, many of whom are feminists, who are now declaring they will do whatever it takes to hold the President accountable as per their Constitutional duty in the House.

Rep. Haley Stevens of Michigan, who previously told CNN she had heard “mixed reviews” from constituents about impeachment, came out Tuesday in full-throated support. “If investigations confirm recent reports,” she explained in a statement Tuesday, ‘these actions represent impeachable offenses that threaten to undermine the integrity of our elections and jeopardize the balance of power within the federal government.”

Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota echoed the sentiment in her own statement to press this week. “We must safeguard our electoral process and our very democracy from outside threats,” she said. “For this reason, the current investigations into corruption must continue. And when there is an abuse of power of this magnitude, it is our responsibility to stand up for what is right. This is why I am calling to open impeachment proceedings—immediately, fairly and impartially.”

The number of Representatives who support impeachment efforts is expanding rapidly in the wake of a whistleblower complaint filed against the administration last week. “These actions regarding the 2020 election are a turning point,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro said Monday in a press release. “Impeachment may be the only recourse Congress has.”

The seven voices in that op-ed agree. “These new allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect,” they concluded. “We must preserve the checks and balances envisioned by the Founders and restore the trust of the American people in our government. And that is what we intend to do.”

Sherrill herself isn’t shying away from that duty in the least. “We’ll get that information using any and every tool that we have,” she asserted in an MSNBC interview after the op-ed was published. “If that’s impeachment, we’ll impeach him. If that’s inherent contempt, we’ll use that. If we need to bring people in handcuffs to testify about this, I am willing to do that because it is so critical to our national security.”

About

Carmen Rios is the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. and has spent over a decade raising hell in feminist media. Her work has been published by outlets like the Atlantic's CityLab, BuzzFeed, ElixHER, Feministing, Girlboss, Mic, MEL and Everyday Feminism; and she also spent six years writing and editing for Autostraddle, was a founding blogger and activist with the SPARK Movement and was the inaugural managing editor of THE LINE Campaign blog. Carmen is additionally a co-founder of Webby-nominated Argot Magazine.