Feb. 8 (UPI) — Newly inaugurated Rep. Delia Ramirez on Tuesday night urged President Joe Biden and his Democratic Party to stand up to Republican extremism, urging more working-class people to join their efforts.

The Illinois Democrat made the comments during the Working Families Party’s progressive response to Biden’s State of the Union address, during which she noted the actions his administration has taken to help families amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while highlighting the Republican roadblocks that have complicated the situation.

Ramirez, the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress from the Midwest, applauded Biden for putting money in the pockets of citizens and offering free COVID vaccines, passed the infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, but she said despite these measures, “it’s still too much for too many families in this country to make ends meet.”

“I want to tell President Biden and all my fellow Democrats in Congress that we have two missions: We must confront the extremism of the MAGA Republicans,” she said, referring to the Make America Great Again conservative movement led by former President Donald Trump. . “We have to show working people what Democrats will bring to working families if they give us control.”

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She said doing these two things means continuing to support investments in families, such as resurrecting the child tax credit, expanding Medicaid, and attracting billionaires—three measures Biden also called for in his State of the Union address.

She also urged Biden to use his executive powers to lower drug prices, protect tenants, and hold corporate landlords accountable for price gouging and housing discrimination.

“If Republicans by and large are as interested in working-class families as they claim, they will support us,” the 39-year-old politician said. “But if they don’t, Americans will see who’s on their side, and Republicans will pay the price at the polls.”

She also called for a minimum wage of at least $15, criticizing Amazon and Starbucks’ anti-union practices.

She also brought up the topic of police brutality when discussing the death of Tyre Nichols, who was killed late last month while in police custody after being beaten and electrocuted by five black police officers in Memphis. His death, she says, reminds us that police brutality is not uncommon for black Americans and is a national phenomenon that kills and injures blacks disproportionately. Congress needs to take action to ensure accountability, she said.

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“We have to change this deadly status quo,” she said. “We must end limited immunity. We must invest in ending poverty and improving schools, jobs, housing, health care and strong communities.

“That’s what really protects us,” she said.

She also tried to nuance the Republican talking points, such as the border crisis that GOP politicians blame Biden for.

But Ramirez countered that the policies of the previous administration of President Donald Trump did not stop asylum seekers from entering the country, only made it more dangerous.

“President Biden inherited a broken immigration system, and Republicans in Congress would scare voters rather than seek a solution,” she said.

As the child of working-class Guatemalan immigrants and the wife of a DACA recipient, Ramirez became visibly emotional as she spoke of the millions of people in the country who are illegal and face deportation when all they want to do is contribute to American society.

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“My husband, Boris, is a dream who has been living in the US since the age of 14. He lived here longer than he lived in Guatemala as a child. Like many others, he waited ten years to finally get citizenship. , but Democrats and Republicans have let them down,” she said.

“I know what it’s like to live with this uncertainty and fear, and that’s why we must do everything in our power to finally implement comprehensive immigration reform.”

She described the Republican Party as one that is abusing the legal system by attacking fundamental freedoms, bodily autonomy and democracy, while saying they must stop the onslaught by taking the House of Representatives away from the Republican Party in 2024.

“What we can’t do is do it alone,” she said. “We need movement. We need workers to join hands to say what we all need.”

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